State transportation officials say a project to install median cable barriers along a section of Interstate 24 in Christian County will ramp up starting Monday. This round of median cable barrier installation will run from the U.S. 41-Alternate interchange at Exit 86, extending eastward to the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, for a distance of almost 8 miles. A 15-mile section of I-24 in Christian County, between the 70 mile marker and mile point 85 was completed earlier this summer.
Once work on that section is substantially complete, the contractor plans to move to Interstate24 near Paducah to install median cable barriers from near the I-24 Ohio River Bridge in McCracken County, extending eastward to near the KY 787 overpass in Marshall County.
Officials note that in the last four years, there have been 13 fatal crashes on the 93 miles of I-24 through western Kentucky. Five of those involved crossover collisions, two in McCracken County, in 2010 and 2011, and three in Christian County, two in 2011, and one in 2013. As a comparison, heavily traveled interstates in Louisville/Jefferson County recorded 26 crossover fatality crashes in about a four-year period prior to barrier installation. That number dropped to one after installation.
Kentucky has budged $3 million for median barrier installation this year. The average cost per mile is about $113,000. Work along the Christian County section will start Monday and should be completed around Labor Day.