Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Work Zone

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.

 

Transportation Impacts: When major flooding closes a vital connection

Transportation Impacts: When major flooding closes a vital connection

May 9, 2022

Transportation impactsThis is the first in a series of stories of how Iowa transportation projects impact the lives of our friends and neighbors, improving safety and making lives better through transportation.

In March 2019, a bomb cyclone struck several western and midwestern states, dropping intense rain and melting heavy snowpack on frozen ground. The subsequent runoff breached levees, flooded roadways, and decimated communities. One of those flooded roadways, Iowa 2 in Fremont County, severed the Iowa/Nebraska 2 corridor, which connects I-80 in Lincoln, Nebraska, to I-29 in Iowa. This unique connection is vital for commercial traffic traversing the region and area residents who live on one side of the Missouri River and work on the other. When Iowa 2 flooded and was closed, a commute for the locals that typically took 10-15 minutes suddenly turned into a 60-90- minute trip, and freight traffic was impacted at a similar level.

Roadside Chat - Wait, you work here? Slow down in work zones

Roadside Chat - Wait, you work here? Slow down in work zones

April 22, 2022

4-12 work zoneThousands of your family members, friends, and neighbors are hard at work to make Iowa’s roads the safest, most efficient system possible. But to get that work done, they need your help.

When you see a “Work zone ahead” sign, pay extra attention to what is coming up. Work zones come in all shapes and sizes and the traffic patterns can change from day to day. Since rear-end crashes are the most common type of crash in a work zone, watch for the traffic ahead of you, slow down, and leave plenty of space between vehicles in case there is a sudden stop ahead.

When a little light serves as your guardian angel.

When a little light serves as your guardian angel.

December 10, 2021

Back of plow truckSnow is swirling and you’ve been plowing snow for hours. You know you need to pull off and clean off your headlights, but you’re worried about being hit by a passing motorist when you’re out of your truck. Is there something that can help increase your visibility to others on the road?

Our District 5 maintenance staff have found a new tool to increase the visibility of our crews in low light or bad weather. Matt Heuvelmann, who was recently promoted to highway maintenance supervisor in Southeast Iowa, previously worked as a garage operations assistant with a focus on safety training. While in this role, he found and tested a personal lighting device to help our workers be more visible when they are out on the road.

Getting our new team members safely on the road

Getting our new team members safely on the road

October 20, 2021

IMG_6452The first day on a job can be exciting and a bit intimidating, especially if that job includes working on a highway with traffic whizzing by you at 60 mph or greater. To make sure we are living our core value of “safety first” and preparing our new field staff to be as safe and successful as possible on the road, we’ve recently implemented a more formalized training system to assure new team members have the skills they need to safely come back home to their loved ones after every shift.

New edge rut chute keeps workers and motorists safer

New edge rut chute keeps workers and motorists safer

September 7, 2021

IMG_7033NOTE: Innovation often happens as a progression over time. Little improvements that are passed organically are combined with other improvements gradually changing the way we do business. Often times we are unaware of everyone involved with the innovation.  Since this article was originally posted, we’ve heard from several of our innovators in Iowa DOT garages including those in Denison, Ida Grove, Pacific Junction, and Boone who have fabricated other edge rut chutes designed to make the work of our maintenance crews easier and more efficient. We apologize for anyone who was unintentionally not recognized in the article and we're proud of all of our innovators who take on challenges and solve problems in the name of making lives better through transportation. Thanks to all of the dedicated employees for their creativity!

As you’re driving along you probably don’t think much about the edge of the road and the rock that transitions between the paved shoulder and the ditch. The rock is meant to help you safely transition back onto the pavement. However, sometimes that rock settles or is moved by weather or traffic causing a rut to develop along the pavement. When this happens that rut may catch your tire and pull your vehicle in an unexpected way, potentially causing a safety issue.

Roadside chat - Do what is right. Move over for flashing lights

Roadside chat - Do what is right. Move over for flashing lights

July 23, 2021

7-22 do what is rightIt’s dark and you’re driving on the interstate. Up ahead you see a bunch of flashing lights at a crash scene. You aren’t sure if the flashing lights are that of law enforcement, a maintenance vehicle, someone working on utilities, or just someone broken down alongside the road. What’s your first move?

No matter what type of lights are flashing, your instinct should be to move over and slow down to a speed that would allow you to easily react if something unexpected were to happen.

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