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The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is overseeing the installation of a new cable guardrail on Delaware Route 1. The 11.5-mile rail will be placed from Smyrna to Odessa, and is a portion of a larger, $8.5 million project to place high-tension cable on the highway.
The cable project started on December 17. According to the DelDOT’s Director of Community Relations, it is all part of a renovation to 17 miles along Delaware Route 1. It includes high-tension cable barriers and end treatments, plus new guardrail and end treatments.
The 11.5-mile guardrail will be placed at the scene of an accident last summer that killed five members of the same family.
On July 6 of 2018, a family was driving north on Delaware Route 1 in a minivan near Noxontown Road, and a pickup truck was driving on the southbound side. The truck drifted over and hopped the grass-covered median.
After the pickup crashed into a car, the minivan hit the truck. The minivan and pickup careened into a ditch. Though the father and mother were wearing seatbelts, the daughters were not. The father and all four daughters died.
The pickup truck driver survived the accident and was indicted in November. The charges include inattentive driving, vehicular assault, and second-degree vehicular homicide.
Plans to install a cable guardrail on Delaware Route 1, including where the crash occurred, had been approved three months before.
Over the past years, installations of cable guardrails on the nation’s highways have increased. The cables are able to absorb the impact from auto collisions better than other kinds of barriers, including metal and concrete. The cable is less rigid than the other materials, making it more flexible when hit. These guardrails can help lessen crash impacts on motorists.
Delaware Route 1 was constructed in the 1990s. Back then, the safety regulations were more lax, and did not call for a barrier to be installed near the Noxontown Road area. The new guardrail will function as an extra safety measure; DelDOT has been installing these cable barriers for years in areas that they have identified as being high-risk.
According to the DelDOT Director of Community Relations, these barriers can effectively decrease the number of fatal crashes when vehicles cross over medians into traffic.
From 2015 to 2017, the number of traffic fatalities on Delaware roads decreased slightly, from 133 to 118.
DelDOT has other plans in the works to upgrade the safety of their highways. The cable barrier systems are being placed in areas that present higher-risk, like narrow medians, curves, and high-traffic and high-crash areas.
Additional projects include installing rumble strips, safety edges, high-friction surfaces, and better warning signs. They also plan to install median barriers on U.S. 9 by the Pennsylvania state border.
DelDOT’s 2020 Strategic Highway Safety Program will review accident data, and will continue to focus on reducing the number of Delaware traffic fatalities.
If you or a family member sustained injuries in a car accident, we can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today for a free case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford. Call our Bear office at 302-834-8484, our Milford office at 302-422-6705, our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500 or fill out an online contact form.