Sinanan: Metal guard rails to replace all cable barriers along roads

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A section of the Solomon Hochoy Highway with wire barriers that have fallen into disrepair after a lack of maintenance. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

MINISTER of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan says the government has concluded that cable barriers are “not the best solution” when it comes to maintaining road safety in Trinidad and Tobago. Because of this, he said, all such barriers will be replaced by metal guard rails over the next three years.

Sinanan revealed this in the Senate on February 20, responding to a question by Opposition Senator Wade Mark on fatal highway crashes in 2023.

He said the government “maintains focus on road user safety…

“However, the maintenance (of cable barriers) continue to pose a significant challenge.”

He added there are several areas where large sections of those barriers have been damaged owing to impact and “it is the view of the ministry that these types of barriers are not the best solution.”

Metal guard rails, he added, are better when it comes to crash protection, lower life-cycle costs and efficiency of repairs.

The ministry will implement a medium barrier programme spanning over the next three years, he added.

Phase one will consists of three packages: installing W-type metal beam guard rails on the Uriah Butler Highway in the Caroni area (5.2km), along the Solomon Hochoy Highway (8.34km) and in the Victoria West region of the Solomon Hochoy Highway (12.66km).

Sinanan said the aim is to replace 26.2km of cable barriers. He also said the ministry will identify the “hotspots” at which accidents regularly happen.

He recalled after being appointed Works Minister that he was provided with a bill for $18 million for the maintenance of cable barriers that was outstanding.

While cheap to install, he said, the maintenance fees are simply too high.