To draw attention to National Work Zone Awareness week, state officials and industry partners held a media event earlier this morning (Tuesday) in a high-traffic spot in Williamson County. The podium was set up on top of the Wolf Creek Bridge, which is being built across Route 13 just east of Carterville. Illinois State Police Education Officer Joey Watson said that, despite orange sign and orange barricades marking construction zones, may drivers just don't realize how fast they can go from 70 miles an hour to nearly stopped, in some cases. Watson added that there is always plenty of signage before you get to the work zone. In some cases, especially on rural two-lane roads, you'll see tripod-mounted signs, and smart-zone technologies, like message boards to alert drivers to upcoming work areas.
IDOT Project Engineer Keith Roberts said that of the roughly 48-hundred work zone crashes last year, the majority of the injuries occurred to the occupants of the car who either ran over a large dip or collided with heavy construction equipment. Roberts added that if drivers would understand that they're more at risk than the construction workers are, this awareness would cut down on the number of work zone crashes.