Development of Guidelines for Cable Median Barrier Systems in Texas

Since 2003, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has embarked on an aggressive campaign to install median barriers to prevent cross-median crashes on freeway facilities statewide. In the few years prior to 2003, virtually all fatalities on interstate facilities (96 percent) were the result of cross-median crashes. TxDOT used special safety funding to accelerate projects and decided to primarily implement high-tension cable/wire rope median barrier systems in lieu of concrete so that more roadway miles could be protected. This report documents the development of guidelines for use of cable barrier systems in Texas. The research team performed a comprehensive review of currently available guidance on cable barrier systems. The guidelines review included four broad categories: guidance on barrier selection, guidance on barrier design, guidance on barrier placement, and guidance on general system considerations. The development of guidelines for cable median barrier systems in Texas concentrated on existing information in state DOT design manuals and memorandums, manufacturer product manuals, and completed studies – including the results of the in-service performance evaluation in Texas. The development of consistent and practical guidelines for the use of cable barrier systems is necessary so that TxDOT design, operations and maintenance staff can make sound decisions. Since the use of cable barrier systems is still a relatively new practice in Texas, the guidance is timely because many districts continue to look for sites and funding for implementation. This report is written primarily to convey the cable barrier system guidelines.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Project Title: In-Service Evaluation of Cable Median Barrier Performance. Report Date: February 2009; Published: December 2009.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System, 3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135

    Texas Department of Transportation

    Research and Technology Implementation Office, P.O. Box 5080
    Austin, TX  United States  78763-5080

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Cooner, Scott A
    • Rathod, Yatin K
    • Alberson, Dean C
    • Bligh, Roger P
    • Ranft, Stephen E
    • Sun, Dazhi
  • Publication Date: 2009-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Technical Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 88p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01152883
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/TX-10/0-5609-2, Report 0-5609-2
  • Contract Numbers: Project 0-5609
  • Created Date: Mar 19 2010 3:04PM