Department of Highways, District 10
Safety in road construction areas to be highlighted next week; Work Zone Safety Week to be observed across Kentucky April 4-9
JACKSON, KY – Daffodils blooming, redbuds flowering, orange barrels and cones popping up along roadsides – all are signs that spring has sprung in Kentucky, as the road construction season commences.
April traditionally marks the start of construction season in the Bluegrass State. To emphasize the need for driver and worker safety in highway work zones, Work Zone Safety Week will be observed across Kentucky next week, April 4-9, to remind drivers of the hazards involved for motorists and construction workers alike in areas where road work is being done.
The national theme for Work Zone Safety Week 2011 is “Safer driving. Safer work zones. For everyone.” Again this year, the theme for Work Zone Safety Week in Kentucky is “Slow Down, My Dad (or Mom) Works Here.”
“This theme has been very successful in the past,” said Philip Noble, safety officer for District 10. “The people who build and maintain roads are someone’s mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, or otherwise are beloved family members, and we should all use caution when we drive through highway work zones. We would feel uncomfortable if someone drove through our offices at 55 mph. For highway workers, the road is their office.”
In Kentucky, events held across the state will call attention to the need for caution in work zones. This message is especially important to drivers, since around 85 percent of all injuries and fatalities in work zones are suffered by motorists.
More than 40,000 people are injured yearly in work zones and thousands are killed. Last year, one fatality and 116 injuries were recorded in work zones across the commonwealth, down from nine fatalities and 140 injuries in 2009. On average, a person dies every 10 hours and someone is injured every 13 minutes in work zone accidents in America. Four out of five work zone accident victims are motorists rather than highway workers.
This year, construction and maintenance activities will be taking place in all 10 counties in the Department of Highways District 10. These include major construction projects as well as resurfacing and routine maintenance procedures such as patching, mowing, spraying and ditching. Work will be performed by state employees as well as contractors.
Drivers are always urged to "Drive Smart" in work zones and be aware of workers, traffic control devices and construction equipment when traveling in areas where projects are ongoing.
Projects that are either underway or are anticipated to begin this year in District 10 include but are not limited to the following:
- KY 15, reconstruction and relocation
- KY 30, resurfacing
- KY 1110, guardrail installation
- KY 89, reconstruction and relocation
- KY 1571, guardrail installation
- KY 11, resurfacing
- KY 498, guardrail installation
- KY 1144, curve revision
- US 460, guardrail and centerline rumble strip installation
- KY 867, resurfacing
- KY 36, guardrail installation
- KY 77, resurfacing
- KY 1274, rockfall mitigation
- US 460, centerline rumble strip installation
- KY 7, resurfacing
- KY 519, resurfacing
- KY 30, bridge deck replacement
- KY 30, resurfacing
- Hal Rogers Parkway, realignment
- KY 15, pavement marking
- KY 80, resurfacing
- Mountain Parkway, exit ramp construction, resurfacing and shoulder rumble strip installation
- KY 11, guardrail installation
- KY 15, pavement marking
- Mountain Parkway, reconstruction and paving
- KY 15, resurfacing
The Transportation Cabinet is expected to invest in hundreds of highway projects again this year. Cabinet engineers and contractors work cooperatively to design projects and work schedules that minimize delays and crashes.
Here are the “top 10” work zone safety tips.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Slow down.
- Don’t tailgate. Keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the construction workers and equipment.
- Pay attention to the signs.
- Obey road crew flaggers.
- Stay alert and minimize distractions. If possible, refrain from cell phone conversations while driving through work zones. Remember that texting while driving is now illegal in Kentucky.
- Keep up with the traffic flow.
- Schedule enough time and call 511 or go to www.511.ky.gov for Kentucky traffic and travel information. For traffic updates in the 10-county District 10 area, follow KYTCDistrict10 on Twitter or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict10.
- Be patient and stay calm.
For more information on work zone safety programs and additional safety tips, visit www.workzonesafety.org.