ODOT Launches New Safety Program Aimed at Saving Lives in Construction Zones
COLUMBUS (Friday, September 21, 2012) – Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jerry Wray and state Sen. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) introduced a new program today aimed at improving safety, reducing congestion, lowering the number of vehicle crashes in construction work zones, and ultimately saving lives of workers and motorists.
ODOT launched the Variable Speed Limit (VSL) pilot program which will utilize new signs in five different construction projects around the state. Similar signs are used in several other states but this is the first time they will be used in Ohio.
The program will reduce speed limits in very specific portions of construction zones where workers are present and exposed to traffic, allowing for traffic to flow freely and at normal speed limits throughout the rest of the zone.
“Today is another benchmark in our efforts to improve work zone safety,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We’re protecting our workers and saving people drive time while doing it.”
Drivers in Lucas, Franklin, Warren, and Lake counties will begin seeing these signs in five construction zones as part of a pilot program that is planned to go statewide when the new construction season begins in 2013. The five construction projects piloting this program are:
· Bridge work on I-75 in Lucas County
· Resurfacing of US-23 and I-475 in Lucas County
· Night time paving on I-71 between 670 and Morse Road in Franklin County
· Jeremiah Morrow bridge work on I-71 in Warren County
· Concrete paving on State Route 2 in Lake County
Each VSL sign will be equipped with a flashing beacon mounted above and below the sign. The beacons will be active whenever the speed limit displayed is lower than the normal statutory speed limit. When work is finished for the day the beacons will be turned off and the normal speed limit will resume.
The VSL concept is a result of HB 487 which was passed as part of the mid-biennium budget review process. Patton worked with ODOT and contractors to establish the new law which went into effect on Sept. 10th.
For more information, contact: Steve Faulkner, ODOT Press Secretary, at 614-644-7101, email@example.com.