The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is emphasizing work zone safety to motorists as work begins on more than 115 major highway construction projects throughout the state. To update motorists on major projects, the SHA has produced an e-Road Ready electronic construction guide for highway work zones around the state, available by visiting the homepage of SHA’s website — www.roads.maryland.gov.
“Work zones can be dangerous for our crews, as well as motorists,” said Melinda B. Peters, SHA administrator. “The key to keeping everyone safe on the road is to slow down and pay careful attention behind the wheel. Our goal is to get everyone – drivers and workers – home safely at the end of the day – work zone safety starts by being prepared and knowing where and when to expect roadway construction.”
e-Road Ready provides a complete guide to major projects throughout Maryland. Organized by counties, each section features hyperlinks to SHA district offices, county public works departments and key project information. The listing also includes major Maryland Transportation Authority projects, most of which are in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
Maryland State Police will be vigilant in enforcing aggressive driving laws, particularly in work zones, said Maryland State Police Lt. Colonel Pete Landon. “By reducing speeding in work zones through the SafeZones automated speed enforcement program and traditional enforcement, we are protecting highway workers, troopers and other law enforcement personnel, as well as drivers and passengers, who statistics indicate are the most likely to be injured or killed in work zone related-crashes.”
“Already the construction season has opened with the injury of an MDTA contractor working on I-95,” said Harold L. Bartlett MDTA executive secretary. “As we continue progress on our major projects and perform routine maintenance, we want everyone to stay alert, so no one gets hurt.”
Officials offer the following tips for negotiating highway work zones:
- Expect that you will encounter road work while negotiating Maryland highways this spring and summer. Know where work is occurring and plan accordingly. e-Road Ready features information to help plan alternate routes.
- Think orange – the standard color of roadway construction: When you see road work signage, cones and barrels – be on alert for stopped or slow traffic, equipment, uneven pavement, dust, etc.
- Avoid driving distractions – Often with narrowed lanes and elimination of shoulders, work areas leave very little or no margin for error. Put both hands on the wheel and give the task of driving your undivided attention.
- Make sure your vehicle is road ready and well maintained.
People are best source of information on the roadways, the SHA said. Drivers who notice a pothole, sign down or any other concern on an SHA-maintained highway (State numbered route), are encouraged to log onto www.roads.maryland.gov and click “Contact Us” to report it. Items that are entered into SHA’s customer care management system are automatically directed to the appropriate SHA department and are tracked until the issue is resolved.