A road builders’ group and the National Safety Council recognized 10 projects, programs, education campaigns and innovations earlier this month that promote worker and motorist safety in roadway construction zones.
This is the third year that NSC and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association have bestowed the “Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Awards,” which consist of four categories.
The winners in the private outreach campaigns category are:
· Professional Traffic Graphics of Lakewood, Colo., for the “Work Zone Safety Activity Book.” This colorful children’s book incorporates animated characters and games to raise awareness about the safety risks associated with road construction zones. The book encourages children to discuss its items with their parents – another target audience.
· Virginia Road & Transportation Builders Association, Richmond, Va., for “Teaching Teens About Work Zones.” Working with the Virginia Department of Transportation, VRTBA developed a work zone safety curriculum aimed at teenagers to be included in their drivers’ education classes.
The winner in the government outreach category is the Missouri Department of Transportation for its “Drive Smart” work zone. The department launched a state-wide communications campaign in April that targeted motorists of all ages and included television and radio ads, a link on the agency’s website with information about work zone locations and billboard advertising near road construction zones.
The winners in the innovations in technology category are:
· The California Department of Transportation, district seven, Los Angeles, for the I-710 long-life pavement project. Caltrans put in place a comprehensive traffic management plan when it rehabilitated a deteriorated 2.5-mile stretch of the Long Beach Freeway. The most critical stage in the plan was a series of eight 55-hour, week-long closures that allowed one direction of the freeway to shut down for construction, while northbound and southbound traffic shifted to the other side.
· CPM Constructors, Freeport, Maine, for the I-95 bridge over Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor. CPM Constructors created a traffic control plan that included the placement of 17 electronic message boards with information for motorists at strategic points along the accesses to the bridge. The company also placed jersey barriers between opposing traffic lanes to help motorists stay focused on the road and not construction activities.
· International Road Dynamics, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the Dynamic Lane Merger system. Created to promote smooth traffic flow leading into a road work zone, the system typically consists of four or five trailer-mounted units that can be deployed on the road shoulder approaching the work zone. Traffic sensors detect the volumes and speeds at the monitoring sites and relay a signal to an upstream unit when they detect congestion. Flashing beacons on the upstream sign are activated when the signal is received, creating a no-passing zone.
The winners in the safety training category are:
· Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America for the “Roadway Safety Awareness Training Program.” A consortium of labor organizations developed the program to educate thousands of workers nationwide. An easy-to-use computer CD and 32-page booklet, available in Spanish and English, highlighted the dangers facing workers in road construction zones and provided instructional materials to help prevent accidents.
· American Infrastructure, Worcester, Pa., for the Work Zone Pocket Guide & Truck-Mounted Attenuator Policy. The work zone pocket guide contained a PowerPoint presentation with information on traffic control diagrams and setting up temporary traffic control. The attenuator policy included procedures for using a truck-mounted attenuator for set-up and take-down operations in road construction zones.
· The Great Lakes Construction Company, Hinckley, Ohio, for its “20 Rules for Working on or Near Highways.” Working with local contractor groups, unions and transportation officials, the company developed a comprehensive list of rules for working on or near highways, with special emphasis on road construction zones. Great Lakes Construction distributes the list to all employees.
ARTBA and NSC presented an “excellence in achievement award” to Channel 18 Fox News, Charlotte, N.C.; Highway Information Systems, Durham, N.C.; and the North Carolina Department of Transportation for their collaboration to produce an in-depth news report on the use of “smart technologies” to improve worker and motorist safety in road construction zones throughout the state.