A number of major highway construction projects are scheduled this year that will improve highway conditions and make travel safer for motorists.
“This promises to be a busy construction season,” said ITD Chief Engineer Steve Hutchinson. “In many cases, weather dictates how soon our crews and contractors can resume work. But we’re confident that most projects will be well under way within the next month.”
Hutchinson joined district engineers throughout Idaho in urging motorists to use caution when driving through work zones and to obey posted signs. Many projects require reduced speeds and special restrictions.
For information about construction activities on the state highway and interstate systems, call 511 or visit ITD’s Web site – 511.idaho.gov.
Research shows that drivers believe most people killed in construction zone accidents are workers, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; however, four out of five work zone collisions nationwide involve drivers or passengers.
Rear-end collisions account for most work zone crashes. Following too closely, inattentive driving, failing to yield the right of way and improper lane changes also contribute to accidents in work zones. Fines for speeding in a highway work zone are increased to $82.50 from the standard fine of $53.
In 2004, there were 265 collisions in Idaho work zones; 176 of those were in southwest Idaho, which includes the Boise area. Statewide, eight motorists died in work zone collisions and one construction worker was injured that same year. Nationwide, 1,068 people were killed in highway work zones.
“We try to minimize the impact on motorists, and generally delays are less than 15 minutes,” Hutchinson said. “We want to create safe conditions, not only for motorists but also for construction workers. We appreciate the patience of our traveling public and assure motorists that the eventual outcome – safer, more efficient highways – will make any inconveniences worthwhile.”