The Kansas Department of Transportation said a 2008 traffic study did not find Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence to be the state’s best candidate for cable median barriers compared with two other four-lane stretches of road near Topeka and Wichita.
KDOT officials highlighted the study Monday after they were questioned about the number of wrong-way crashes on K-10.
Dean Sicking, a University of Nebraska civil engineering professor, said the study considered the width of medians and traffic volume on the state’s four-lane roads. He said Kansas highways are designed with wide and flat medians and that cable medians have been used more often on roads such as Interstate 70 east of Kansas City, Mo., which had a narrower median, higher traffic count and higher fatality rate.
Two people, including a 5-year-old boy, died Saturday and three people were injured when an eastbound car crossed the median near Eudora and struck a minivan head-on. Two other women died in separate wrong-way crashes in October and August near De Soto.
KDOT spokeswoman Kim Qualls said the state planned to reopen the cable-median study every three years, and Sicking said K-10 could be closer to being recommended for barriers then.
KDOT has a $235,000 construction project under way on U.S. Highway 75 for a 1-mile stretch in Topeka with future plans for 4 miles of a cable median along Kansas Highway 96 in Sedgwick County, Qualls said.