ITD encourages safety in work zones

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(KMVT/KSVT) - This week marks National Work Zone Awareness Week, and the Idaho Transportation Department reminds you to put away distractions and pay extra attention to signs and your surroundings when driving through a work zone.

ITD has more than a dozen projects planned this year. A few of them are currently underway, such as the road construction on Highway 93 in Jerome and the 12-plus mile roadway reconstruction on Interstate 84 westbound. Other projects are slated to begin this summer, including the Salt Lake City interchange, seal coats, etc.

But each project is different in terms of road pattern changes and reduced speed limit.

"We do notice some people speeding through. We also notice some people driving really slow and almost stop so if you could watch the signs, the speed limit signs, drive accordingly please," said Scot Stacy, ITD resident engineer.

"You can see changes on a daily basis. You might go through (the work zone) in the morning and the pattern is changed in the afternoon," said Walter Burnside, ITD resident engineer. "We use devices, such as changeable message signs, but often it’s the familiar orange and black sign that’s out there that’s giving you a direction about a new look."

Officials told KMVT nine fatalities last year and more than 300 accidents the year before, occurred in work zones. The goal is to bring the fatalities down to zero.

"We want it to be a really successful construction season and the main priority of course is always keeping everyone safe throughout that time," added Jessica Williams, ITD public information specialist.

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