Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Work Zone

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

October 28, 2022

IMG_0841Chances are if you spend much time driving, you’ve come up on a line of traffic that is stopped or slowed down due to road construction. These lines or “queues” as traffic safety professionals call them, put drivers at a high risk of rear-end crashes if they’re not paying close attention to what is up ahead. This construction season the Iowa DOT explored additional technology that can provide drivers with more detailed information about stopped or slow traffic ahead.

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

October 26, 2022

Highway workerHighway maintenance workers will tell you, to work along the road, you must keep a constant eye on both the work you are doing and the traffic moving around you. But splitting your concentration isn’t ideal and it can be dangerous.

As part of the Iowa DOT’s Business Plan,  a one-year objective for 2022 seeks to “Improve Work Zone Safety.” One element of that objective is focused on helping motorists better see work zones, theoretically helping them avoid crashes in work areas.  With the 2020 deaths of two of our employees, Lynn Roder and Jeff Arbogast, fresh in our hearts and minds, this objective has become even more urgent.

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

October 25, 2022

Smart arrow board on highwayWhether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a trip to visit family and friends, having the best information about your route will help you have a safer, quicker, and less stressful journey. While winter is coming, the Iowa Department of Transportation and our construction partners will still have many active work zones as long as the weather holds. These work zones and associated delays can sometimes put a kink in your travel plans if you’re not prepared for them.

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

October 24, 2022

Crashed attenuatorMaking sure you are paying attention when you’re driving near those working on the road is essential to helping you avoid a crash and keeping everyone in the area safe, the main priority of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Last year we told you about a program that added a loud noise to a piece of equipment known as an attenuator. An attenuator is typically a trailer pulled by a large truck. Their purpose is to block oncoming traffic from entering a work zone and they are designed to take a hit instead of a worker if a driver happens to not be paying attention. While we’ve seen success with adding sound to this equipment, the next step to keeping you safer on the road is to automate the triggering of the noise.

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

September 20, 2022

IMG_7869If you’re a parent of more than one child, you know a thing or two about how to reduce conflict. Some sage advice includes separating the conflicting items (in this instance, children) to give them time to think about what to do next, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

It’s really not so different with drivers approaching an at-grade intersection on a four-lane highway. The more you can separate the drivers and give them time to think about what’s next, the fewer conflicts or crashes will happen and the severity of the conflicts that do happen is reduced.

That’s exactly what is going on right now on U.S. 20 at Poplar Avenue near Fort Dodge. A new “reduced-conflict” intersection was opened recently with the goal of seeing fewer crashes and injuries at an intersection that may be getting much busier soon with the opening of a travel plaza.

Roadside Chat - Work zone orange is always in season

Roadside Chat - Work zone orange is always in season

September 2, 2022

9-2 work zone orangeYou’ve likely heard the adage that Iowa has two seasons, winter and construction. Iowa has nearly 115,000 miles of roads and 24,325 bridges across the state that need maintenance and care to get you where you need to go safely and efficiently.

Each day there are hundreds of active work zones, where our family members, friends, and neighbors are hard at work to improve these roads and bridges. They are trained to work in the safest way possible, but are still vulnerable to the dangers of working next to moving traffic. There are a few things you can do to make sure every one of these dedicated workers makes it home at the end of each shift.

 

Work zone training for maintenance teams to improve safety for our crews

Work zone training for maintenance teams to improve safety for our crews

June 21, 2022

Field employees working(Note: This is the second in a series of posts related to field employee safety training.)

Even someone with nerves of steel can get a little rattled working on the road just feet from speeding traffic. Our Iowa DOTers work in many different types of work zones with both construction and maintenance projects. Depending on the work to be done, the work zone setups can differ, but many of the same safety measures can be implemented to help both our workers and the drivers on the road get home safely at the end of the day.

Safety training starts on Day 1 at the Iowa DOT

Safety training starts on Day 1 at the Iowa DOT

June 14, 2022

Jeremy showing Collin safety proceduresNote: This post is the first in a series related to Iowa DOT training efforts to improve the safety of our field staff.

Safeguarding our Iowa DOTers who spend their days working on the road starts the first day they enter a garage. New standardized training tools are being used to ensure our team members have the best possible training to safely get the job done and return home to their loved ones after each shift. Continually updating our field training system strengthens the well-being of our entire Iowa DOT team.

Oversized loads pose special challenges for work zones on Iowa highways

Oversized loads pose special challenges for work zones on Iowa highways

June 6, 2022

WindbladeIn Iowa, big things are moving on our highways. Whether you see a flatbed loaded with a massive piece of farm equipment or a specially designed truck hauling a huge wind blade, oversize and/or overweight loads are a common sight on Iowa roads. Sometimes traveling around these types of loads can cause frustration or pose challenges but a lot of planning goes into making sure those loads are traveling safely down our roadways and around other traffic.

Roadside Chat - Move over for flashing lights on shoulder

Roadside Chat - Move over for flashing lights on shoulder

May 13, 2022

5-13 move overPart of learning to drive includes gaining an understanding of the laws and rules that are put in place to improve safety. Some of those laws and rules are for your protection as a driver and some are designed to keep those who work on the road safer. Many of these statutes serve to enhance the safety of everyone.

 

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