By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Orange cones are a common sight on Lubbock's roadways, and this week, TxDOT is trying to bring even more attention to them with the National Work Zone Awareness Week.
"At any given time in the state of Texas, there are about 1,000 active construction projects with hundreds of thousands of workers out there working every day close to high speed traffic," said Dianah Ascencio with the Texas Department of Transportation.
National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 19th to the 23rd, and TxDOT is driving home the dangers associated with work zones.
"When a motorist is entering an active construction zone they just need to be prepared that normal driving conditions probably won't exist, so just really pay attention," said Ascencio.
Construction worker Cody Green died back in 2007 after a semi hit him as he was working on the Marsha Sharp Freeway Project. This is one reason why drivers need to be careful when driving in work zones.
Each year in Texas, more than 20,000 traffic accidents and 150 fatalities occur in work zones. Four out of five of those deaths are the motorist rather than the construction worker.
"Inattention and speed are the two top causes for any work zone related crash," said Ascencio.
The latest cones to go up are for the West Loop 289 – 19th Street Project. From 34th to Frankford Avenue, North and Southbound lanes will be reduced to one lane for at least a year. Going Northbound on Loop 289 to the West 19th Street cloverleaf exit will be closed.
The Northwest Passage way construction on Loop 289 started last September. The loop from Frankford to just west of Quaker will be expanded from four to six lanes. Due to heavy traffic in that area, TxDOT has expanded the frontage roads from Frankford to Quaker. Crews will also build a Slide Road bridge. This construction is expected to be finished later this year or early 2011.
The Marsha Sharp Freeway project is in phase four. This phase will construct the freeway main lanes, bridges and frontage roads from Avenue L to Interstate 1-27.
The last big roadway project is the I-27 bridges in New Deal. Six bridges along I-27 are being reconstructed; work is expected to continue through October 2010.
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