Record $735 Million Construction Season Increases Need for Work Zone Safety AwarenessAbstract:
Indiana’s state highway construction program has grown from a $414 million investment in fiscal year 1995 to the current record construction effort of more than $735 million. Governor O’Bannon’s Crossroads 2000 initiative to revitalize the transportation infrastructure throughout Indiana, coupled with increased federal funding, has fueled this increase in highway improvement work over the past several years. The governor launched Crossroads 2000 in 1997 as an aggressive four-year campaign to revitalize Indiana’s transportation infrastructure. Crossroads 2000 is projected to provide a total of $893 million for highway construction during the life of the program. Many of those deaths could have been avoided if motorists followed some basic rules when entering construction zones. “When approaching a work zone, motorists should merge as soon as possible,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Dave Bursten. “When motorists wait to merge at the point of closure and try to barge in, they cause unnecessary delays. If everyone cooperates, traffic moves more efficiently.” The most common crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision, so at least two seconds of braking distance should be left between cars. Work zone safety is always a high priority for INDOT and this construction season is no exception. Statistics indicate that work zone safety awareness should be on every motorist’s mind. In the past decade, 8,000 people have died in construction zone accidents nationwide.