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Cable barriers to better protect motorists set for installation in Oxford, Lafayette County

Falling asleep at the wheel, having a heart attack, texting and driving or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol are just some of the reasons a car might leave its lane and cross into oncoming traffic. Grass medians do not provide much of a barrier to what often becomes a life-threatening event.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has plans to install median cable barriers along the four-lane sections of Highways 6 and 7 in Oxford, according to MDOT spokesman Jason Scott.

“Median cable barriers help prevent crashes,” Scott said. “They prevent lane departures and illegal cross-overs.”

Scott said the barriers are expected to be installed in the spring of 2017.

Oxford Public Works Director Bart Robinson said the barriers have been proven to keep even have been proven to keep even the largest of vehicles from crossing into oncoming traffic.

“I have seen several images where the barriers prevent vehicles, up to tractor trailers, from crossing the median,” Robinson said.

A cable barrier typically consists of multiple steel cables that are connected to a series of posts. The Federal Highway Association considers the cable barriers to be the most versatile and forgiving barrier system, according to its website. The cable barriers minimize the forces on the vehicle and its occupants and absorb most of the energy of a crash. They are generally less expensive to construct than concrete barriers and are easier to maintain.