Temporary Cable Barriers: Government Wisdom Or Waste?

Most drivers are familiar with one or both of these projects, and a few remember the short-lived cable barriers that preceded them.

By Alex Cameron, 9 Investigates

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two years ago, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spent almost a million dollars to install cable barrier systems that it knew would have to be torn out only a year later.

These temporary barriers — 7.1 miles on the Creek Turnpike and 7.2 on the Kilpatrick — were erected in the same sections that are currently being expanded from two lanes to three. Most drivers are familiar with one or both of these projects, and a few remember the short-lived cable barriers that preceded them.

In fact, some people voiced serious concern about what they saw as a waste of money.

Mark wrote, “Surely this expansion has been on the books for a while. so all this money is spent to be ripped up a year later? Doesn’t sound smart to me.”

Another critic, Larry, wrote, “Maybe they feel…the turnpike money is free money…why install the cables for such a short period?”

And yet another asked, “…how much money did the OTA waste on this?”

We took those concerns straight to Turnpike Authority director and Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley.

“Can you understand,” 9 Investigates asked, “how people might have looked at this and said, ‘Whoa, what are they doing?'”

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