Work zone engineer pleads with drivers after crash

A driver was seriously injured crashing into a construction vehicle in a work zone
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:30 AM CDT
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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Workers on an expansion project on Interstate 41 are taking a couple of days off after a crash at an Outagamie County construction site seriously injured a driver. Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in that crash, but a work zone engineer is pleading with drivers because construction zone crashes have many causes.

With narrow and shifting lanes, work zones can present a challenge to all drivers under any circumstances. It’s always important to limit distractions and give undivided attention to the road.

“All of our work zones and lane closures, they are ever-changing,” Joshua Falk, regional work zone engineer, said.

Falk said from one night to the next there could be something different happening on the roads and drivers should always be paying attention.

“Not doing things in your car that are distracting, being on your cell phone, those types of things. You know, just what we are reiterating to drivers to make sure that they’re doing correctly and they pay attention from a day-to-day basis.”

Work zones aren’t limited to major construction. They also include maintenance emergency vehicle stops, utility work, even garbage pickup.

Being able to identify a work zone is important for drivers to stay safe.

“We do put out PCMS boards, which are portable changeable messaging signs, that do reiterate ahead of time when a lane closure is going to be in place, upcoming dates, times, everything like that.”

Falk says, slow down when you see workers. If possible, provide additional space by moving over.

He reminds you fines double in any work zone.

“Whether speed-related, inattentive driving-related, you know, so be cognizant of what you are doing in the zone. It will hit your pocketbook double if you are caught.”

Falk says it takes everybody to make a work zone safe to get everyone home safely.