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Guardrail carnage big business

Posted: Thursday, Dec 13th, 2012

Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Bryan Fitch surveys an accident scene Thursday on Cape Foulweather that left a 78,000-pound southbound rig leaning precariously over the embankment. Accidents like the one above cause millions in damages to state property every year and help sustain an industry devoted to repairing guardrails, safety barriers, signs and soft shoulders. Kelly Hegar, at the controls of a punch truck that installs wooden pilings, and Josh Harrington of CRC Enterprises make repairs to a guardrail on Highway 101. Repairs to the 200-foot section of guardrail after a Freightliner crashed through the metal barrier on Nov. 27 will cost the driverís insurance company about $7,000. (Photos by Rick Beasley)

When trucks and cars crash through guardrails, destroy road signs and obliterate the soft shoulders of state highways, the useless remains of twisted steel and splintered wood mean another payday for companies that patch up the wreckage at a cost of millions of dollars to Oregon taxpayers and insurance companies.

For the complete article see the 12-14-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-14-2012 paper.

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