A new guardrail system from Sweden is being tested on the highway north of Sudbury — and the only place where they are being tried in North America.

The Ministry of Transportation says it's hoping they will improve safety for drivers. Ministry engineer Ray Hong said the new steel posts connected with cables can be installed farther away from the roadway than the old ones. The old wooden posts crowded the road and snowplows were running into them.

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Spokesperson explains new guardrail on Highway 144

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Spokesperson explains new guardrail on Highway 1445:31

“We're hearing from our maintenance folks that there are fewer occurrences of posts getting broken and the guardrail getting hit,” he said.

A spokesperson with Safence, the company that makes the fences, said the steel posts you see at the edge of the highway are the tops of very long poles that go far down the embankment.

In addition to the wider shoulder, plows can get rid of snowbanks.

“And the cable has that advantage that, you know, when you have snow, or other buildup, it'll just pass through the cable,” Jesper Sorenson said.

Sorenson noted the terrain north of Sudbury is very similar to northern Sweden.