FF12 asks questions about lack of barriers after head-on K-96 crash
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - What does it take to have a barrier between lanes on the highway? FactFinder 12 investigators ask more questions after a head-on collision causes a multi car crash on K-96 this weekend. The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) said a driver crossed the unbarricaded center median causing the crash.
You might not think about them while driving on the highway but the barricades in medians are meant to keep traffic from going the wrong way. Some portions of K-96 don’t have anything separating eastbound and westbound traffic. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) said it surveys three things before installing a barrier.
“Where we have cable median barrier on K-96 on the east side of Wichita, those are the areas that have three things. A narrow median, a lot of traffic and a lot of crash history,” said Tom Hein, with KDOT Wichita Public Affairs.
KDOT said it’s working on expanding K-96 in the next few years. Hein said new concrete or cable barriers will be a part of the discussion but adding them will be expensive.
“We’re years away from construction, probably 2026. We think that this will go from four lanes to six lanes. The way to fit that on to that footprint that we have, it’s kind of a narrow right away that KDOT owns right now, we think there would probably be concrete barrier between the three lanes in each direction,” said Hein.
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