After today’s accident on the Howard Frankland Bridge, discussion has turned to the protective barriers. Would higher barriers have prevented one of the vehicles from going over the edge? Right now the barriers are 32 inches high. That could increase by 4 to 10 inches. Would that have saved the driver that went over the side today? We’ll never know. With reports that the two drivers involved were aggressively changing lanes, road rage clearly was a bigger factor.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that when the Howard Frankland was built in 1990, the standard was met. But since then, Florida has upped the requirement by 6 inches. One expert tells the Times a taller barrier means a stiffer hit if you crash and there’s a bigger risk of injury to passengers. The new Howard Frankland Bridge construction begins in 2020 and they say that barrier will be 42 inches high because there will be a bike and pedestrian path.