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Safety comes first in construction zones

April 21, 2012
The Herald-Star

Get used to seeing orange construction barrels in Jefferson County during the summer construction season.

The Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 recently released its construction plans for the summer. Work in the seven counties making up District 11 totals $147 million. Jefferson County will get nearly half of that or $71.3 million.

A large chunk of the ODOT's construction spending in Jefferson County will be for work to fix a slip above state Route 7 at Rush Run. The $2.2 million demolition of the Fort Steuben Bridge also was included in the county's total. Two other slip repairs, the biggest being on state Route 7 near the Columbiana County line, total $8.9 million.

ODOT will spend $3.1 million to resurface state Route 7 through Steubenville. Paving also will happen on U.S. Route 22 and on the Lovers Lane Connector.

ODOT also will be building a new garage in the county on county Road 43 at a cost of $5 million.

That's a lot of work and probably a lot of headaches sitting in construction traffic.

Drivers have to be extra careful in construction zones.

Every year, there are many accidents that occur in work zones, resulting in injury and even death.

According to an analysis by ODOT, the top three causes of work zone crashes can be prevented. They include following too closely, failure to control and improper lane changes.

Everyone is on a tight schedule and in a hurry to get from here to there. That is until driving up to a construction zone. Riding right behind the bumper of the vehicle in front won't result in a quicker trip through the work zone.

Traffic is slowed in a construction zone for a reason. Construction vehicles are pulling onto and off the highway. There are workers and heavy equipment operating sometimes just feet from the open lanes of travel.

Drivers have to be alert when traveling through a work zone. That means allowing enough distance between vehicles so a sudden stop can be made without a wreck.

Follow the instructions of flaggers and pay attention to construction zone signs that can warn or advise a motorist what to expect in the work zone.

Remember, speeding violations can be very costly in a construction zone.

Everyone complains about the condition of area roads and bridges. A lot of construction will be done this summer.

ODOT has the best words of wisdom - how you drive keeps you alive.

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