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DOTD begins National Work Zone Awareness Week with memorial in front of building

1 year 3 months 3 days ago Monday, April 17 2023 Apr 17, 2023 April 17, 2023 10:00 PM April 17, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The grass in front of LaDOTD headquarters has been blanketed with hundreds of orange cones. Each one represents a life lost from a work zone accident. 

Monday is the start of National Work Zone Awareness Week. 

In 2021, there were 956 deaths from work zone accidents, with 17 of those in Louisiana. DOTD spokesman Rodney Mallett says most of those accidents could have been prevented if the person behind the wheel was using proper caution. 

"That goes to show you the dangers that our people who work on the streets face all the time. You never know what's going to happen and it's a very unpredictable situation," Mallett said.

Mallett says a task as simple as filling a pothole can put lives at risk. In fact, that is exactly what three DOTD workers were doing on Jan. 25, when a truck plowed through their work zone and killed 35-year-old Chris Gray, injuring the two others.

As many major infrastructure projects such as the College Drive flyover and I-10 widening project are underway, drivers should also look out for Motor Assistance Patrol workers. Especially as lanes are restricted and shoulders are reduced, not allowing much room for workers to assist motorists on the road. 

You can find more information about Work Zone Awareness Week here.

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