ODOT director highlights need for safety in work zones
Event held to recognize National Work Zone Awareness Week
Lima (Friday, April 12, 2019) Alongside live traffic on
Interstate 75, representatives of the Ohio Department of
Transportation (ODOT) and their partner organizations
highlighted the need to reduce speed through work zones during an
event today in recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April
Standing in the work zone along I-75 in Findlay,
representatives from ODOT, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Beaver
Excavating shared their perspective of working in a zone where drivers
consistently disobey posted speeds.
"You are endangering the life of another human being
when you speed through work zones," said ODOT Director Jack
According to Lt. Matt Crow, post commander for the Ohio
State Highway Patrol in Findlay, speeds collected through the I-75
Findlay zone this week show that 85 percent of motorists are exceeding
posted speeds, with many clocked over 70 and 100 miles per hour.
"This is a very, very heavily traveled section of I-75, and it's
important for motorists to slow down and pay attention," said
Crow, adding they are regularly patrolling the zone.
The partnerships with contractors and law enforcement to
create safe work zones are certainly important, but the cooperation of
motorists is perhaps the most important aspect of work zone safety.
"The decision to drive safely lies with the individual, and right
now we're seeing many choosing to do otherwise," said Chris
Hughes, ODOT District 1 deputy director.
There are approximately 15 electronic speed signs through
the zone, said Rob White, ODOT project engineer for the I-75
project. The speed displayed changes based on the level of
protection workers have for the task they're performing. "When the
beacons are flashing, workers are present. If we're working behind
concrete barrier the speed will display 55 miles per hour. If we're
only behind barrels or cones, the speed will display 50 miles per
hour," said White. In all cases, the speed displayed on the
electronic signs is the legal speed and is enforceable.
Randy Martin, safety director for Beaver Excavating which
serves as the prime contractor for the I-75 project, said their goal is
to build the job safely. "Slower speed through the zone is such an
important part of how safe a job is for us and motorists, and it can't
be emphasized enough," he said.
The reconstruction and widening of Interstate 75 through
the city of Findlay and Hancock County is in its third of four years of
construction. The $114 million project is expected to be completed in
Since the project began in 2017, 257 crashes in the zone
have resulted in property damage, 62 crashes resulted in injuries, and
no fatalities have occurred.
Last year in Ohio, 4,662 crashes in work zones occurred.
Rear-end crashes are the top type of work zone crash with speeding and
following too closely being the top factors.