Construction workers could be in more danger on the road during the pandemic

Indiana Department of Transportation said there may be fewer drivers, but they are driving more recklessly. Putting their workers at greater risk.

Posted: May 27, 2020 9:47 PM
Updated: May 28, 2020 10:27 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Across the state there may be fewer drivers on the road, but that doesn't mean construction workers are in less danger. INDOT said they're actually more concerned right now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year parts of the road are updated with construction. It starts to happen around spring and summer. This year, we were on stay-at-home orders and in the middle of a pandemic.

"Construction has been underway even with everybody staying at home," Debbie Calder is the communications director for INDOT in our area.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is not taking a break. They have some major projects going on all across the state of Indiana right now.

"As people travel around our state we have over 1,100 construction projects that are going to be underway this year," Calder said.

She said with fewer people on the road you would think construction workers would be safer, but that's not always the case.

"It's something we're hearing from the Indiana State Police and other agencies that people are just driving way too fast because there are fewer people out on the roadways," Calder said.

Here in the Wabash Valley, we have already seen construction starting. Barrell's line U.S. 41 in Terre Haute and Interstate 70 near Brazil, Indiana.

Calder said no matter where it is or what work they are doing, everyone needs to be careful.

"Please obey the rules of the roadway the speed limits definitely and in work zones, we'll have reduced speed limits so pay attention to the signs," she said.

She said it's a matter of life and death.

"Be very mindful of that. Please, watch for those signs, orange barrels, slow down pay attention, and get your self safely through those construction zones and our work zones," she said. "You can get to your destination safely and our workers can get home safely as well." 

Calder said INDOT will be working on construction at night too. She said that's to help traffic during the day. It's important to be even more careful during these hours if you're driving in a work zone.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed black wires out on roads all across Terre Haute. They are INDOT counters.

Calder said it's something they do about every 3 years. It happens all across the state. She said it's just to get a feel of day to day traffic in those areas.

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