wire barriers

KDOT Secretary Deb Miller

Eudora News and Informationwww.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.”

 

 

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Eudora News and Information www.eudorareporter.com

We have received multiple inquiries about the letter Governor Brownback wrote to the Kansas Department of Transportation.  Normally, we do not post material about stories that is sent to us due to space considerations and interest of the readers.

Since this letter seems to be of debate of late, we are posting the letter here, in it’s entirety,  just as we received it.  This letter was released to media outlets Monday afternoon by KDOT.

Governor-issues-directive-to-KDOT-regarding-K-10

The letter is in PDF form.  If this PDF does not open, you will may need to install Adobe Reader which is available as a  free download.

We will continue to follow this story closely and bring you the latest in any developments about events and plans related to safety issues on the K-10 corridor.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The Mayor of Eudora has not relented on his campaign to improve safety conditions along the K-10 corridor.

This weekend, Mayor Scott Hopson, along with the mayor’s family, prepared and placed 47 small crosses along the hillside next the site of the accident that claimed the lives of 5-year old Cainan Shutt and 24-year-old Ryan Pittman on Saturday, April 16.

“We have to do something to call attention to the fact that this road is dangerous and something needs to be done about it.” Hopson said.

Family members also placed a single cross at the site of an accident scene near De Soto, that involved a car and a Fed Ex truck. In that accident, Amanda Newton, a 23-year-old Lawrence woman, was killed in when she crossed over the median and collided with the Fed Ex Truck.  That accident occurred in August of 2010.

Hopson has been on a personal crusade urging the Governor and the Kansas Department of Transportation to install wire barriers along the K-10 corridor stretching from Interstate 435 in Kansas City to Lawrence. Hopsons efforts have been echoed by Thomas and Alison Shutt, the parents of the Cainan, and Jodi Jackson, the citizen who started a Facebook effort to install wire barriers along the highway.

 

 

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the tragic accident that claimed two lives and injured three others on K-10 Saturday, Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson has decided to stand up and try to do something about it.

Hopson is sending a letter to Kansas Governor Brownback where he requests the Governor to “direct the Secretary of Transportation to immediately begin work to install wire barriers in the median of K-10 from Lawrence to I-435.”

In Hopson’s letter he stated:

We have been told that KDOT has resisted placing wire barriers in the median at this stretch of road because the benefit cost ratio completed in 2009 determined that these barriers were not warranted due to the low numbers of accidents or deaths in the area.  I can tell you now that the death toll on this stretch of road has exceeded our community’s benefit cost ratio and that we request barriers be installed immediately.

Hopson also is circulating the letter to the Mayors of Lawrence, De Soto, Overland Park, Lenexa and Olathe in the hope that they will join his campaign for wire barriers along the K-10 corridor.

“It’s my responsibility not only to the citizens of Eudora but to all the people who travel K-10.” Hopson said.  “Policy makers aren’t traveling K-10 on a regular basis and it’s our responsibility to bring it to their attention.”

There is also a groundswell of support for barriers along K-10 on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-the-Effort-to-Install-Crossover-Cables-on-K-10/169893723063657

Jodi Jackson, an area resident, started the page at 7AM Tuesday morning and by 6:15PM that evening, the page had garnered over 325 “likes”.

Jackson stated that she was one car in front of the accident that occurred near the Church St. exit on K-10 Saturday.

“What if that had been me in that car?” Jackson said. “I have my own children and I can’t imagine what I would be going through, had it been me.”

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