Cable barrier system for Palisadoes road
A cable crash barrier system is to be implemented on the Palisadoes main road, popularly called the airport road.
The National Works Agency (NWA) is implementing the road-safety measure for the first time in Jamaica in an effort to improve road safety and decrease traffic fatalities on the strip from the Harbour View Roundabout to the roundabout at the Norman Manley Airport, which is known for speeding and associated crashes.
It is a heavily used roadway, not only by persons accessing the airport, but also students at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and residents of Port Royal.
According to manager of communications and customer service at the NWA Stephen Shaw, the road was chosen for the cable crash barrier pilot project based on safety audits conducted subsequent to the completion of the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Project.
Preparatory work of the Palisadoes Cable Crash Barrier Project began on March 15 and is currently in progress. It is expected to cover 5.5 kilometres of roadway.
It is being funded by the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF) at a cost of $9 million and is being implemented through the NWA's Force Account System, which employs an in-house team trained in tensioning of the cables by the overseas cable barrier supplier SAFENCE.
The barrier, which will be set up along the side of the road, utilises wire rope fencing to prevent vehicles running off course.
According to the website of the Minnesota Department of Transportation in the United States, when a vehicle hits the barrier, the posts break and the cables flex, absorbing much of the crash's kinetic energy.
The barrier is intended to prevent motorists from running off the road into the harbour, hitting pedestrians on the roadside and skidding along loose shoulders at various points along the roadway, among other objectives. The Palisadoes main road is very popular with joggers and fishermen.
The barrier, as used in Minnesota, claims to be 95 per cent effective in reducing fatal and life-changing crashes.