Cables for Cainan

photo courtesy Jodi Jackson

Story by Scott Rothschild, courtesy The Lawrence Journal-World

TOPEKA — In response to a fatal crossover traffic accident, the state transportation department on Friday announced approval of a bid to install cable median barriers in Douglas and Johnson counties.

“It is being put out there for safety,” said Kim Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The project entails installing 2.3 miles of cable barrier in the median on Kansas Highway 10 near Eudora, and 2 miles of cable barrier near the K-10 and Kansas Highway 7 junction in Johnson County.

Gray Beal Construction Co. of Topeka has been awarded the $1,158,714 project. Construction is expected to start in mid-August and be completed in late November.

In May 2011, Gov. Sam Brownback ordered a committee to be formed that was composed of citizens, elected officials and KDOT officials to look at how to improve safety along the K-10 corridor.

That was prompted by the death of 5-year-old Cainan Shutt when an impaired driver crossed the median and struck the minivan driven by Cainan’s grandfather.

Earlier this year, Cainan’s mother, Ali Shutt, was honored by KDOT for her work in getting the agency to approve the cable barriers.

KDOT spokeswoman Qualls urged motorists to be careful while workers are putting in the new barriers.


Photo courtesy Jodi Jackson

Eudora News and Information

While officials met inside the Eudora Rec Center to discuss if cable median barriers should be installed on K-10, a group estimated between 50 and 70 people gathered outside to hold a candlelight vigil in support of the cause.

The group was led by Ali and Thomas Shutt, parents of Cainan Shutt, the 5-year-old boy killed in a crossover accident on K-10 in April.

Ali Shutt, expressed her unhappiness with her perceived lack of substantive results from the meeting.

“Dragging this out for months on end is unacceptable” Shutt said. “We don’t have the time. People’s lives are at risk out there. My son died on a dangerous highway and they don’t care to fix it now. They want to wait and drag it out and that is not acceptable.”

Shutt stated she and others plan on being at every meeting in the future to keep pushing for cable barriers along the K-10 corridor. “Time is not going to stop us.”