New guiderail on I-65 prevents car from crossing into northbound lane

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When a car crashed while traveling southbound on Interstate 65 in Chilton County on Monday, it appears a new cable guiderail prevented the car from crossing into the northbound lane.

Authorities in Clanton responded to a call of a single-vehicle crash at 8:42 p.m. just north of Exit 205 in the southbound lane.

Clanton Fire Department Chief David Driver said the occupant in the vehicle suffered minor injuries and refused ambulance transport.

Driver said it was a small passenger car with only one occupant in the vehicle.

“The driver stated they were going south and struck the cable guiderail and then ran off the road on the opposite side,” Driver said. “It appeared the new guiderail did its job and kept the car from going into the northbound lane.”

The Clanton Police Department is investigating the cause of the wreck.

Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is currently working on installing a guiderail spanning 27.9 miles on I-65.

The roadwork affects exits in Chilton County and should be completed by Dec. 12.

ALDOT’s Fifth Division Engineer Dee Rowe said in May that the project started at Mile Marker 198 and will end at Mile Marker 225.9.

“The purpose of the guiderail is to prevent crossover crashes which occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway, crosses the median, and strikes another vehicle going in the opposite direction,” Rowe explained. “The guiderails consist of steel cables and posts which serve as a physical barrier separating the two directions of interstate traffic.”

In 2011, The Clanton Advertiser reported three wrecks near the 200-mile marker, resulting in a combined eight deaths, which occurred on a one-mile stretch of I-65.

The common theme among the wrecks in 2011 was when one vehicle would cross into and collide with traffic traveling the opposite direction.

ALDOT had a program that analyzed the interstate system to determine the needs for median barrier protection.

Plans were in place in 2011, prior to the string of fatal wrecks to install “cable guide rails” along I-65 in Chilton County.

Such rails can be found lining the interstate from the Chilton-Shelby line north to Birmingham and in other parts of the state.