Doing the job: Highway cable stops semi
By Peggy Breister
The Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2007
TOWN OF BYRON - The cable guard installed in the Highway 41 median has proved it can withstand even the force of a semi.
An Alabama semi-driver suffered a heart attack and died Saturday while traveling south on Highway 41, according to Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department reports. The semi struck the cable guard in the median near County Trunk Y and overturned.
"The cable guard did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Sheriff's Department Capt. Dean Will. "Without it he would have definitely crossed into the northbound lanes, colliding with oncoming traffic."
The cable guard is being installed in the Highway 41 median throughout Fond du Lac County as a safety measure.
The installation follows a series of multiple-fatality crossover accidents in 2003. The parents of a Mayville boy killed in one of those crashes led the fight for a safer roadway, petitioning legislators and public officials for some type of median barrier.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is in the process of installing cable guard on an eight-mile stretch of the median north of Fond du Lac to about Highway 26 in Oshkosh. The cable guard installed south of Fond du Lac was part of a road project completed a couple of years ago.
"With the cable guard our number of injury accidents may go up," said Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink, "but our number of gruesome fatal accidents should go down."
The semi struck the cable guard about 6:30 a.m. Saturday. The force bent some of the posts, but the wire cable stretched between those posts held, Will said.
The Fond du Lac County Highway Department repaired the bent posts this week.
Will said the cable guard is catching on in popularity.
"We're hearing now it will be installed on all Interstate medians," he said. "It's certainly less expensive than concrete barriers."
|Accident photographs taken by the Brownsville Fire Company|