Construction projects underway during Work Zone Awareness Week
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Drivers on the roads, listen up!
Multiple construction projects are currently underway throughout our viewing area, and the blocked off roads will not be going away anytime soon.
From road reconstruction, to widening of highways, the Florida Department of Transportation wants you to be cautious on the roads as you navigate these changes while they work to make them more efficient.
The biggest project currently underway by the Florida Department of Transportation is the widening of Crawfordville Highway. The stretching starts from south of East Ivan Road to north of S.R. 267.
FDOT says this $25.5 million project includes roadway widening, milling and resurfacing, signalization improvements, drainage improvements, sewer force main construction, box culvert construction and new signage and pavement markings.
Pat Herring, a resident of Wakulla County, shares, “I am sure a lot of people are frustrated with this because it’s just taken forever.”
Herring used to live right off Crawfordville Highway and hopes that the years of groundbreaking are finally coming to an end, “I know it has to happen, progress is inevitable, but if they could just hurry it up a little bit I would sure be happy.”
Projects similar to this one are popping up throughout the Big Bend.
“We have everything to resurfacing jobs, to sidewalk replacement to widening projects,” said Ian Satter with FDOT.
In Leon County, the Florida Department of Transportation will be milling and resurfacing a section of US 90 and will provide improvements to multiple intersections along the route to increase pedestrian safety. That includes the installation of pedestrian bulbouts at several side road intersections.
There will also be new lane configuration with bike lanes from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to St. Margaret’s Church Road. Additionally, at the eastbound turn lane at St. Margaret’s Church Road. There will be intersection improvements at Salt Road, as well as a new water line installation from Mahan Drive to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
In Jefferson County, there will be a resurfacing of SR 20 (US 27) in Jefferson County from the Leon County Line to west of Chittling Street. Existing travel lanes, auxiliary lanes, median crossovers, and paved shoulders will be resurfaced. FDOT says the typical section consists of two 12′ travel lanes, a 10′ outside shoulder (four-feet paved), and an eight-foot inside shoulder in each direction. The travel lanes are separated by a 32′ grassed median. FDOT also shares that the right-of-way varies throughout the project limits and no additional right-of-way will be required.
Satter says the reason for the heightened construction is that as the months get warmer, it is a perfect time to lay down asphalt.
While the extra time in traffic or road detours might be an inconvenience to drivers, during this week of ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’, it is important to remember those on site.
“Paying attention of the work zones, being aware of the people that work in those work zones,” said Satter of good road rules, “Avoiding distractions, slowing down.”
Satter also shares additional information that is important to keep in mind during #WZAW:
- Speeding is a contributing factor in more than 6% of fatal work zone crashes in 2019.
- Work zone crashes are a risk to roadside workers who were present in the work zone in 35% of fatal crashes and 44% of severe injury crashes.
- According to 2015-2019 statewide crash data, Florida experienced more than 50,000 work zone-related crashes, including more than 380 fatalities and more than 2,400 severe injuries.
- In 2019, 21% of fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
- National Work Zone Awareness Week began in 1999 when the Federal Highway Administration, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials signed a Memorandum of Agreement pledging to increase public awareness of work zone safety issues through a national media campaign.
- National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 26-30, but FDOT’s efforts will extend from April 5- May 30.
Those who use the roads day in and day out, hope that the orange cones and construction tractors leave an improved and perfected travel experience.
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