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Public Works, IDOT reminds drivers to be cautious near construction zones

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - A crash Tuesday afternoon in a construction zone on interstate 74 in Tazewell County seriously injured a Peoria county deputy. Public Works and IDOT says it’s an example of why drivers should be extremely careful in highway work zones.

Road construction season is underway in Central Illinois, and while construction workers are on the streets and highways to create smoother and safer commutes, IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel said drivers passing through work zones need to do their part to keep those workers safe.

“People working inside behind those barricades and orange cones, they’re somebody’s mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, neighbor,” Wappel said.

“They wanna get home at the end of the day just like you know all of the motorists,” Wappel said.

Wappel said in 2021, crashes in Illinois construction zones killed 25 people and injured another 1,600.

“Nine out of ten times, it’s not a worker that’s killed, it’s a motorist and/or their passenger or passengers that are going through a work zone that are killed,” Wappel said.

Peoria Public Works Spokesman Nick McMillion said drivers to watch their speed in work zones.

“In a work zone, you need to be reminded to hey, slow down, use caution, be alert,” McMillion.

“Put down your phone, don’t be distracted. Whether it’s a lane narrowing or a lane shift, you have to be more aware,” McMillion said.

McMillion said drivers need to be aware that more public works crews are out doing road improvements, so he’s asking drivers to drive responsibly.

“As much as our workers, our public works workers are ready and resilient, we want our drivers and our motorist to be ready and resilient,” he added.

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