CTRE is an Iowa State University center, administered by the Institute for Transportation.

Address: 2711 S. Loop Drive, Suite 4700, Ames, IA 50010-8664

Phone: 515-294-8103
FAX: 515-294-0467

Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

In-Service Performance Evaluation of Median Cable Barriers in Iowa


Principal investigators:

Project status

In progress

Start date: 07/01/15
End date: 09/30/17


Sponsor(s): Iowa Department of Transportation

About the research


The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) began installing median cable barriers on its Interstate highways in 2003. Since that time, about 270 additional miles of the barriers have been installed. While it appears that the barriers are functioning as desired, an in-depth analysis of their performance has not been undertaken.

The objective of this project is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of Interstate median cable barriers in Iowa. Given the capital costs required for this initial cable barrier installation programs, as well as the anticipated annual maintenance and repair costs, a comprehensive evaluation is warranted to ascertain the efficacy of cable barriers in reducing the occurrence of median-crossover events and crashes.

An assessment of the safety performance of Iowa cable barrier systems will allow for a determination of cost-effectiveness on both a localized and system-wide basis, in addition to allowing for the identification of locations for which subsequent installations may be warranted.