Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Work Zone Awareness Week as road construction season begins

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Gov. Mike Pence is proclaiming April 7-11 as Work Zone Awareness Week in Indiana. Work Zone Awareness Week marks the ceremonial start of the highway construction season and is meant to promote worker safety in construction zones.

INDOT will invest nearly $800 million in highway construction projects this year to enhance safety, mobility, and economic growth in Indiana, the Indiana Department of Transportation said in a statement released on Wednesday. Highway work zones must not only maintain access for motorists, residents, businesses, and emergency services, they must also keep workers safe.

“Thousands of vehicles drive through their work places at high speeds, and it is critical for everyone’s safety to drive safely,” INDOT said.

This year’s national theme is “Work Zone Speeding: A Costly Mistake,” which highlights the consequences of dangerous driving in work zones. Motorists in Indiana face fines of up to $1,000 for speeding and up to $5,000 for driving recklessly through work zones. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker could face a $10,000 fine and up to eight years behind bars.

These fines are used to fund additional Indiana State Police work zone patrols and promote public safety. INDOT and the ISP have partnered to include unmarked white pickup trucks in highway work zones patrols. The pickup trucks resemble typical vehicles normally seen near Indiana highway construction zones. Motorists are urged to always comply with speed limits in construction zones and improve safety for both the highway workers and the motoring public.

“Some drivers think it is safe to ignore work zone speed limits if workers are not present,” INDOT said. “But, on average, four out of every five deaths in highway work zone crashes are drivers and their passengers, not highway workers. Last year, 13 motorists (no workers) were killed and more than 450 people were injured in Indiana highway work zone crashes. The majority of these injuries and deaths are caused by driver inattention, speeding, following too closely, making unsafe lane changes or failing to yield right-of-way.”

“Highway work zones leave no room for distractions and require attentive, cautious driving habits,” INDOT said. “Dedicate your full attention to the roadway and avoid all distractions, including cell phones, especially while driving through work zones.”

April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Indiana Department of Labor, ISP, and INDOT have partnered to award $5,000 scholarships to high school and college students who compose the most creative and viral social media posts on Twitter, Instagram and Vine using #TXTL8RIN.

The DRIVE NOW. TXT L8R campaign runs through the month of April. Go to www.txtl8r.in.gov for contest rules and information.

Speeding or driving recklessly in a work zone is dangerous. Obey the posted speed limit at all times, and please be patient. Remember, the work zone crews are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.

For information on work zone safety, visit workzonesafety.in.gov

Motorists can learn about highway work zones at www.TrafficWise.IN.gov or by calling (800) 261-ROAD (7623).

Get road restriction updates for Northwest Indiana at any time by visiting our social media channels: www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest or Twitter @INDOTNorthwest

As part of Work Zone Awareness Week in Indiana, INDOT would like to alert drivers to some of the major work zones they might encounter in Indiana this construction season.

Northwest Indiana

* I-65 in Lake County: Resurfacing between U.S. Highway 231 and U.S. Highway 30.

* I-94 in Porter County: Bridge deck replacements, multiple locations near Portage, Porter, and Chesterton.

* Ind. 912/Cline Avenue: Resurfacing between I-94 and U.S. Highway 12 (Columbus Drive).

* U.S. Highway 31 in St. Joseph and Marshall Counties: New road construction, multiple locations between U.S. 20 bypass and U.S. Highway 30.

* Ind. 933 in St. Joseph County: Resurfacing between Ind. 331/Capital Ave. and the Elkhart County line.

Northeast Indiana

* Ind. 930/Coliseum Blvd. in Fort Wayne: Added travel lanes from Parnell Ave. to Crescent Ave.

* Ind. 1/Dupont Road in Allen County: Interchange modification at I-69 Exit 316.

* Ind. 14 in Allen County: Added travel lanes from West Hamilton Rd. to Scott Rd.

* Ind. 19 in Elkhart County: Added travel lanes between Lusher Ave. and Franklin Street.

* U.S. Highway 20 in Elkhart County: Added travel lanes from three-quarter mile east of C.R. 17 to Ind. 15.

 

 

Posted 4/7/2014