Work Zone Accidents

Years ago we built new highways through forests and across virgin land.  Construction activities, workers, and equipment didn't mix with the traveling public.  As our society has become more and more developed we now typically widen, redesign, rebuild, and add to our existing roadways.  And, during the construction work the existing traffic on the old roadway has to be guided through the ever-changing mix of workers, construction activities, and heavy equipment.  In addition the safety of the contractors is extremely important.

Standards are in place for the design, construction, and maintenance of temporary traffic control zones, a.k.a. work zones.  To convey roadway users, with reasonable effectiveness and safety, through a work zone the key elements of using traffic control devices with clear, consistent, and familiar messages are very important.  Surprising drivers and pedestrians usually, and unfortunately...ends up with surprising results.

In our daily trips in our community we often see short-term work activities out in the roadway such as tree pruning, overhead utility work, underground utility repair, re-painting the pavement stripes, clearing storm debris, and street sweeping.  And, we often see temporary road closures for parades, running or bicycle races and marathons, sporting events, and fire or emergency operations.  All of these are considered to be temporary traffic control, or work, zones, and have specific standards and procedures that need to be followed.

Mr. Marceau has examined many work zone crash cases involving construction workers, bicycles, pedestrians, heavy commercial trucks, construction trucks and equipment, and typical cars, SUV's and light trucks.  His many years of civil engineering design practice and preparing construction plans for temporary traffic conditions allow him to understand the relationships between the different contractors, the owner agency, the roadway users, and the applicable codes, standards, and practices that would apply to a particular case. 

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