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Interstate Safety Cables Taken Down, Taxpayer Calls It 'Colossal' Waste of Money

BENTON COUNTY, AR -- The decision to relocate cables from along I-540 does not sit well with one concerned citizen. So we spoke with officials to get an explanation.
BENTON COUNTY, AR -- A set of safety cables disappear on Interstate 540, leading some to wonder if the purpose behind their tax dollars disappeared with it.

"Why did you go ahead with the cable system if you're just going to tear it up in a couple years?" says Glen Nardoni, a concerned taxpayer in Rogers.

Dick Trammel with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Commission says even though it was an expensive project at $5.1 million dollars, it was -- and still is, worth every penny.

"Those cables that you see are being removed we are going to reuse those cables around the state," Trammel says.

They're being moved as construction begins to add lanes, and concrete barriers take their place.

"That's great that they recycle, but why was it put up to begin with?" Narodni says.

Trammel adds that the cables preceded the concrete because when the cables went up, expansion plans hadn't yet been voted on.

He says that the roadside rope, thus far, has proved to be a lifesaving lasso.

"In 2012, there were 570 traffic fatalities in Arkansas," Trammel says.

"In 2013 there was 490, the lowest number of traffic fatalities in 52 years."

Numbers that Trammel says the cables deserve credit for.

Cables just like these cover more than 300 miles across the state and will soon stretch across 200 more miles by the end of this year.

"They may have a valid and wise way of doing it, and I just think they need to explain to us why they did what they did," Nardoni says.

"I appreciate the fact that people are interested, what we're doing, well what we're doing is trying to save lives and cut cost," Trammel says.

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