KDOT Secretary Deb Miller
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller met with the media Friday afternoon to address the topic of cable median barriers and Governor Brownback’s letter that he sent last week.
Miller explained that KDOT will follow the directives that the Governor stated in his letter. KDOT will begin construction this summer on the Douglas County section of K-10 and make 10 foot wide shoulders on the outside and six foot shoulders on the inside portions of the highway with rumble strips. This project, per the Governor’s request, should be completed by the end of fall. Currently, the Johnson County section of K-10 is designed in this manner. This widening will add 3 feet to the median side of K-10.
Miller also announced the story that Eudorareporter.com broke Thursday night, about the meeting of several city and county officials which will take place on May 12th in Eudora. She also stated that the study of cable barriers that was planned for 2012 will begin this year, as the Governor also directed. No time frame was given as to when the study will take place.
Miller went on to add a point, in her words, that she wanted to make perfectly clear. “Cable barriers are not benign. They don’t solve all the problems and can, in some situations, create problems.” Miller added “Our deliberations must center on whether they provide more benefits or create more liabilities.”
Miller also stated, “The question about this issue was not do we have the money, it’s, is this the right strategy?”
State Transportation Engineer Jerry Younger followed Secretary Miller and spoke at length how the study of cable barriers in 2008, showed that cable barriers were not appropriate at that time, according to experts involved in the study. “Cable median barriers are not a silver bullet. There will be more crashes, more injuries and more damage.” Younger added that “Cable median barriers were not designed to stop a large truck and there is a large concern to motorcycle riders.”
Ali Shutt, mother of Cainan Shutt who was killed in the accident on April 16 on K-10, was in attendance at the press conference and was not happy with what the Secretary had to say. “We realize that a cable median is not going to save every wreck. We want the cables to protect the family on the other side of the highway” Shutt said.
“We realize that it could still cause accidents, but it’s the other person on the other side that should be safe. It doesn’t mean the person who’s leaving an Easter egg hunt should be killed either.”