Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Instagram
Daily construction news
Weekly equipment news

Construction News

Sat March 23 2019

News » US » FHWA launches drive to protect highway workers » published 12 Apr 2018

FHWA launches drive to protect highway workers

A campaign has been launched to urge drivers to drive carefully through highway work zones after fatalities increase for the third year in a row.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials joined Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) secretary Randy Blankenhorn and others to kick off ‘National Work Zone Awareness Week’, an annual effort to urge the public to protect highway workers.

“Highway workers are our family members, our friends, and our neighbors,” said acting federal highway administrator Brandye L Hendrickson. “Each of them matters, and their safety matters. As you drive, remember, work zone safety is everybody’s responsibility.”

Overall roadway fatalities increased in 2016, and work zone fatalities also increased, for the third year in a row. The 765 work zone fatalities that year were the most for a single year since 2007. In Illinois alone, there were 44 work zone-related fatalities in 2016, including eight involving workers.

National Work Zone Awareness Week is held each spring, as highway construction season resumes after the winter hiatus and the number of workers on roads and bridges increases. Though highway workers are often among the victims of such crashes, 80% of work-zone crash victims are drivers or their passengers.

During this year’s ceremony, officials honored the family of Ryan Nichols, an IDOT worker who died in a work zone crash in 2011. The ceremony took place near Chicago’s Circle Interchange Project which, the state estimates, serves about 400,000 vehicles each day including 33,000 commercial trucks. Workers are making significant repairs to what is considered one of the most congested interchanges in the nation with on average over 1,100 crashes are reported each year.

Similar observances are taking place nationwide as state DOTs reach out to the public during the National Work Zone Awareness Week. Since 2005, FHWA has supported these efforts and awarded more than US$40m in grants to develop and promote work zone safety training.  


Download our free construction news iPhone / iPad app. Sign up to our FREE email newsletters or subscribe to our RSS feed for regular updates on the latest Construction News, Equipment News, & Contract News. The Construction Index also provides the latest Construction Tenders, Construction Market Data & Construction Law Commentary all FREE.

This article was published on 12 Apr 2018 (last updated on 12 Apr 2018).

More News Channels