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Cable barrier to be built in I-985 median

LAWRENCEVILLE - A trip from Buford to Gainesville will soon be safer, officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation said, thanks to a project to put cable barriers in the median of Interstate 985.

The DOT awarded a $3.8 million project to place the barriers along the 22.3 miles of I-95 between Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 129. Nationwide Fence & Supply Company will also install the barrier on Ga. Highway 400 between McFarland Parkway and Ga. Highway 306.

"I'm both delighted and relieved to announce these critical safety projects," State Transportation Board Chairman Mike Evans said. "Any time there is an open, grassed center median on a freeway, there is a distinct risk of vehicles leaving their side of the road and striking oncoming vehicles."

Last year, Evans was disheartened when a family of four died in Jackson County in an accident that could have been prevented if a cable barrier project had not been delayed.

"We have seen the tragic consequences of these accidents too often in Georgia," Evans said. "I-985 and Ga. 400 desperately need these improvements. Moreover, I intend to push for similar projects at all applicable locations throughout the state."

Work on the two projects is expected to begin in the spring and be completed this fall, according to DOT officials.

The barriers, which are made of woven, tensioned cables attached to steel posts, are less expensive to both install and maintain than traditional guardrail. They has been installed in the medians of more than 90 miles of Georgia's interstates and freeways.