GDOT: Dangerous guardrails still line highways

GDOT: Dangerous guardrails still line highways

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thousands of guardrails on the sides of Georgia highways shouldn't be there because they could be dangerous, according to Georgia transportation officials.

That's what Georgia's Department of Transportation found after mapping every mile of its interstate system.

But they say the work is far from over.

They found about 2,000 breakaway cable terminals (BCTs), along interstates that should have been removed years ago. Now, they're looking at state highways.

"I have kids and I don't want any hazards or any crashes or wrecks to happen so I'm very cautious with my driving," says Nakeisha Brown.

She travels up and down Interstate 75 often, and says that with children and young nieces and nephews, safety is always something on her mind.

One area along I-75 in Tifton is just one of many places where breakaway cable terminals still remain in Georgia.

The Federal Highway Administration asked them to be removed from interstates nationwide because of potential dangers, but thousands remain in place along Georgia roadways.

For Brown, that's a troubling thought.

"I think that people should get on their jobs, as far as the workers, to make sure that everyone is safe on I-75, because its very busy," she said.

GDOT Representatives say most guardrail terminals are safe, but there have been problems where they make crashes worse.

"In some instances we know that some of these guardrail terminals may not function correctly, which is why the FHWA asked for us to begin to upgrade them in the 90s from the BCT terminals to other terminals," said GDOT Spokesperson Natalie Dale.

Most of the questionable guardrails GDOT found are in north Georgia, but they did find them on I-75 in Tift, Lowndes, Turner, Crisp and Dooly Counties.

"We've been busy mapping our roadways, using video logging tools," said Dale. "Our districts have been very active in putting our eyes on these guardrails to see if they can determine how many of these are left on our roadways."

GDOT is working to replace the guardrails through future projects.

"We will begin to develop road projects and plans, whether that's through road widening projects, guardrail safety projects, however we can work it in to projects to begin to get more of these removed and replace on our roadways," Dale said.

Transportation officials noted that people shouldn't avoid highways because of the issue.

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