MoDOT, IDOT focused on road crew safety

ST. LOUIS – It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week for MoDOT and IDOT.

As construction picks up on both sides of the river, safety will be the number one concern for MoDOT and IDOT. It’s not just a request; it’s a life or death matter.

Sixteen Illinois State Police vehicles have been struck so far this year and two troopers have died after being hit in work zones.

“Last year, we had 18 deaths in Illinois in work zones and that includes one worker,” said Lora Rensing, IDOT district engineer.

Tom Blair, a MoDOT district engineer, said the easiest things drivers can do to promote safety is to wear their seatbelts and put their phones down.

Blair said additional workers will be out patching potholes, fixing flat tires, responding to fiery multi-vehicle crashes, setting up construction work zones, and doing so with cars buzzing by them.

“In 2019, we have had 28 MoDOT trucks that have been struck by motorists out there, 28 too many,” he said.

The number one cause of work zone crashes and fatalities in work zones are distracted driving.

“One person’s life is not worth that text you have to read, not worth the extra ten seconds you need to hurry and get in front of somebody else by speeding through a work zone,” said Corporal Juston Wheetley, Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Both MoDOT and IDOT label work zone areas with signs and barrels.

Some MoDOT work underway or starting includes:

  • Interstate 44 from downtown all the way to the Crawford County line
  • The ramp at I-270 near I-70 will be closed around the clock for three months
  • After Memorial Day, MoDOT will close the westbound Watson ramp to I-44 and I-270 for 5 months
  • The Dorsett Bridge will be replaced over Lindbergh

Meanwhile, IDOT crews will be working on the following projects:

  • MLK Bridge approach into downtown St. Louis
  • Resurfacing on I-255 from Jefferson Barracks Bridge to Illinois Route 3 in Columbia
  • Intersection reconstruction on Route 3-Pontoon Road in Granite City began last week.
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