Final stretch of I-35 cable median barrier in southern Minnesota installed

Published 8:36 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

The final stretch of high tension cable barrier in southern Minnesota has been installed on Interstate 35 between the Iowa border and the Twin Cities, providing a low-cost, highly effective safety tool for the more than 30,000 motorists who travel the highway daily, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The 7-mile stretch of cable median barrier was installed on I-35 near Geneva (Exit 22) to just north of Albert Lea. Work was completed this month.

Cable median barrier can reduce fatal crashes by 95 percent. MnDOT has been installing cable median barriers in strategic locations to prevent cross-median crashes that can end in fatal or serious injury crashes. I-35 in southern Minnesota sees an average number of motorists that range from nearly 20,000 to nearly 40,000.

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The barriers are made of three or four steel cables strung on posts. When a car hits the barrier, the posts break and the cables flex, absorbing much of a crash’s kinetic energy. This redirects the vehicle along the median, preventing a cross-median crash.

Maintenance crews can repair the damaged section quickly and the cable barriers cost less than permanent concrete barriers. To learn more about cable median barriers and the role they play in traffic safety in Minnesota, go to

H & R Construction of South Sioux Falls, Nebraska, was the prime contractor on the $770,000 project.

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.