Weather is warming up and soon area motorists will notice more orange barrels on Ohio roadways.
While not a construction project, area motorists should note that on Thursday, April 11, SR 265 will be closed to traffic for approximately one hour near Quaker City and Friends Cemetery. The road will be closed from 1-2 p.m. This is for a funeral procession for the late Guernsey County Sheriff James U. "Peanut" Carpenter.
But soon, more orange barrels will be evident.
• In Tuscarawas County, preparation work is set to begin Friday, April 12, on I-77 for a project to resurface nearly 8.5 miles of interstate. I-77 will be resurfaced from the I-77/ U.S. 250 interchange in New Philadelphia to Stone Creek. One lane of traffic maintained at all times with a completion date scheduled for October 31, 2019.
• In Coshocton County, pavement repairs will begin on April 15 on SR 541 and SR 206 with two-lane resurfacing to following. The following areas will be resurfaced with this project: SR 541 from SR 60 to SR 16; SR 541 from Hook Road to SR 93; SR 206 from SR 541 to US 36. One lane of traffic will be maintained with flaggers. Estimated completion is October 15, 2019, weather permitting.
In an effort to keep roadside workers safe, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Transportation are joining other state and local transportation agencies across the United States to mark National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.
"Just like Ohio’s drivers, road construction workers want to make it home safe at the end of each day," said Gov. DeWine. "Accidents in construction zones are fully preventable when drivers use caution and slow down; doing so could save a life."
Last year, four construction workers including ODOT employee John Pasko, were killed while working along Ohio roads. They were among the 14 people killed in Ohio work zone crashes.
Since reaching a high in 2015, work zone crashes have been trending downward in Ohio.
In 2018, there were 4,662 crashes in work zones. The top factor continues to be following too closely. Nationally, speed is a factor in more than a quarter of all deadly work zone crashes.
"Drivers should always give their full attention to the road, but work zones require even more attention from drivers," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. "Please keep our workers safe as they work to keep you safe."
Ohio law requires motorists to move over a lane for all roadside workers. If they cannot move over, drivers should slow down.
Safety Tips for Driving in Work Zones:
• Plan ahead — Work zones account for an estimated 10 percent of overall congestion and nearly 24 percent of unexpected freeway delays. Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes. You can find construction and traffic information at OHGO.com and with the OHGO app.
• Obey road crews and signs — When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.
• Slow down — Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.
• Move over — Ohio law mandates that you move over a lane when passing work crews, emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or any other vehicle parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.
• Avoid distractions — Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone.
• Watch for sudden stoppages — In 2017, 25 percent of fatal work zone crashes in the U.S. involved rear-end collisions. Watch for large vehicles. Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.