The Wyoming Department of Transportation has initiated an effort to re-emphasize highway work zone safety to motorists to coincide with the ramp-up of the state’s annual roadway construction season, which typically runs from April to the end of October.
[Above photo by the Wyoming DOT.]
“We currently have about 65 active projects throughout the state now that our construction season started,” noted K. Luke Reiner, Wyoming DOT’s director, in a statement.
“More projects will start over the next few weeks and will continue throughout the summer,” he said. “We want motorists and our crews to get home safely each day, which is why we are asking everyone to pay attention and drive extra cautiously in our work zones.”
The agency noted that Wyoming experienced 18 highway work zone fatalities and 364 injuries between 2015 and 2019.
“We don’t want to see any fatalities or injuries in our work zones,” Reiner emphasized. “That’s why we want to bring awareness about traffic patterns and conditions people will experience in work zones. We want drivers to pay attention, slow down and heed construction signage so they help keep each other safe.”
“Motorists should always put down the distractions when they drive but it is especially important in construction zones,” added Wayne Shenefelt, Wyoming DOT’s resident engineer in Cheyenne.
“When you are driving through a construction zone, you will encounter both contractors and WYDOT employees working alongside traffic. There could also be heavy equipment working in close proximity to those employees and the traveling public,” he explained.
“There is typically a lot of things going on in these construction zones, which leaves a lot of room for something unexpected to happen,” Shenefelt said. “If motorists can be more alert in these areas, it can potentially prevent something tragic from happening.”
The Wyoming DOT and the Associated General Contractors of Wyoming also developed and implemented specific work procedures in April to ensure highway worker safety at construction during the COVID-19 pandemic.