I-84 highway construction patrols reduce injury crashes;
Idaho State Police patrols in the Interstate 84 work zone between the Garrity Boulevard and Meridian Road Interchanges significantly reduced the number of injury crashes since the program began in August 2008. Injury crashes dropped from 45 to 25 in the first year of the enhanced patrols.
Hoping to build on that success, similar enhanced patrols began last July from the Cole/Overland Road Interchange to east of Boise in the active work zone.
ISP, through an agreement with ITD, will carry out the enhanced patrols through June 2011. The patrols will be focused in the Cole/Overland-to-Broadway segment.
"ITD and our contractors truly appreciate the extra attention to safety in work zones," said ITD's Dave Jones, District 3 engineer. "Although we've separated the workers from traffic via concrete rail in most cases, there are still workers and equipment operating in close proximity to high-speed interstate traffic.
“We urge motorists to follow the posted speed limits, pay attention to the signs, and check 511 periodically for updates to road closures/traffic impacts. Accident rates are down in large part because of the efforts of ISP. Through partnerships like this, I can make sure our workers safely get home to their families each night."
Non-use of seat belts (550) and child restraints (40) accounted for nearly 600 citations. More than 2,500 citations were issued for speeding. In addition, 165 arrests were made for driving under the influence, and 221 suspended drivers were removed from the road.
Overall, officers logged 5,730 hours and nearly 77,000 miles of enhanced patrols in the corridor.
The enhanced patrols are provided through a partnership with ITD's GARVEE Program Office. ITD uses the bonding GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonding program to expedite many local I-84 projects, as well as other projects throughout the state.
"The partnership between ITD and ISP is a critical factor in providing enhanced public safety for those using I-84 while the necessary highway construction is carried out. When we can have a greater patrol presence in conjunction with additional signing, reduced speed limits and other safety measures used in the work zone, construction workers and motorists have a much safer environment in which to conduct their work and travel," Richardson said.
The partners also reap a residual safety benefit from the patrols and road improvements. Richardson said that in late 2005, similar awareness/safety enhancement patrols were in place on I-84 near Garrity for the eastbound on-ramp project, and four years later, that area still boasts a much better safety record than it did before the patrols and road improvements.