Monday, December 15, 2014

The Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway - Cable Barrier Racket

Unfortunately traffic accidents inevitably occur on the highways of T&T and their outcomes are far worse when vehicles cross the median and collide with bystanders heading in the opposite direction. 

The state in predictable fashion has used this unfortunate reality to further fleece taxpayers. 

Instead of the installing the most suitable and cost effective road restraint system the Ministry of Works has opted for the most ineffective and most expensive option so that they can line the pockets of their political cronies. 

Example of a cable barrier in their usual rural setting,
sufficiently away from the roadway and along a slope.
The installed cable barriers not only feature relatively high initial and long terms costs but a full length of barrier is immediately compromised when it is contacted until posts are replaced and cables are re-tensioned. 

Along the Uriah Butler Highway multiple sections of the barriers are seemingly contacted daily rendering the entire sections ineffective.

In addition cable barriers deflect between 8 and 12 ft upon impact. Given these relatively large deflections, cable barrier systems are not usually considered appropriate to shield objects closer than 8 ft offset of the roadway. Yet they have been installed 3 to 4 ft away from the roadway in Trinidad.

Literature also indicates that cable barriers are intended for use on slopes, rather than in a relatively flat road environment which characterises the Uriah Butler Highway. Without any compensation for a slope along the cable barrier, a car can still jump the top of a barrier with the potential to severely maim, impale or decapitate accident victims. 

The simplest, most efficient and cost effective solution would have been installing concrete barriers along the length of the highway as all other industrialized countries have done along their freeways.  

Clearly, the original intent of the installation was never roadway safety rather it was a way to grant a lucrative installation and perpetual maintenance contract to political buddies with public safety a way to substantiate wasteful government spending. 


  1. No data to support your weak argument. Energy absorbing barriers save lives. Concrete barriers let cars bounce back into traffic. Do your research before posting foolishness.

    1. Sure; cable barriers are better than no barriers at all, but it's not the most efficient, most optimal option.

      That's why on highways, interstates and freeways in the US / Canada or even on Nascar race tracks you don't see cable barriers.

      Don't be brainwashed by government propaganda my friend . Try to be an independent, critical thinker.

  2. I use the Uriah Butler Highway everyday and I would have to say at least a rough estimate 10-30% of the cabling installed has been destroyed by impact. I'm not arguing whether the barriers are the most effective option or not but one would like to think there would be a system in place to repair damaged sections of the barriers quickly and efficiently.

    This does not seem to be the case, which leaves the remaining barriers severely compromised, as the previous writer said.

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