April 18, 2023
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Work Zone Awareness Week: NYC DOT Highlights Citywide Concrete Crews Installing Vision Zero Safety Projects and Reminds Drivers to Slow Down in Work Zones on City Streets and Highways
With DOT working in full gear for the start of construction season, concrete crews install Vision Zero safety projects across the City, often at busy and challenging intersections
DOT joins fellow agencies and Utilities to maintain annual campaign to keep the public alert of work crews along the City’s streets, bridges and highways
New York – NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today joined NYC Department of Design and Construction, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Transportation, the General Contractors Association of New York, National Grid and other entities working on City streets and highways to promote National Work Zone Awareness week, observed this year from April 17-21. At the start of the annual construction season, transportation and highway departments across the control publicize their campaigns to slow motorists down, promote work zone safety and honor colleagues killed in past work zone intrusions. Today's event was held at the jobsite for a Vision Zero Street Improvement Project along Meeker Avenue under the BQE in Brooklyn. DOT also announced the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building will be lit orange this evening and that New York State DOT will light the Kosciusko Bridge orange tomorrow evening, both in recognition of the Work Zone Awareness Week.
"The people of DOT work hard to make our roads and bridges safe, and New Yorkers must return that effort by exercising greater care as they drive through work zones," said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We ask New Yorkers to slow down – as you consider our workers, as well as those of sister agencies and utilities. Drive as carefully as you would if they were members of your own family."
"DDC is currently completing 41 projects valued at $1 billion for the Department of Transportation in neighborhoods all over the City, and our employees and our contractors deserve a safe environment in which to serve the people of New York. Getting to and from your destination faster is not more important than someone's life. We urge drivers to be cautious when driving and to be even more mindful around construction sites as the weather allows for more projects to get underway," said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. "Through DDC's Division of Safety and Site Support implementation of proactive safety measures such as trainings, safety awareness seminars, safety briefings and preconstruction meetings there has been a 70% reduction in accidents reported on our projects compared to Fiscal Year 2022."
"Every single day of the year DEP crews are working in roadways across our city to maintain the roughly 15,000 miles of water mains and sewers that are the lifeblood of the Big Apple," said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. "Our crews work to serve the public and we hope all roadway users will operate with care and patience around work zones and allow our workers to go home to their families at the end of each day."
Throughout the year, DOT maintains its commitment to workers through comprehensive work zone training provided by the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and E-PRO Safety Solutions, ongoing safety assessments of job sites and improvements to fleet equipment such as back-up cameras and retro-reflective markings.
In addition to its internal education and training efforts for employees, DOT places a strong emphasis on its external public awareness campaigns. This season the campaign will focus on ads via the digital and social platforms and highlighting the importance of work zone safety.
DOT experienced 12 work zone intrusions last year, seven of which resulted in injury. Overall, 45 DOT workers have been injured in work zone incidents since 2009 and five have died from work zone-related events during the past two decades.
This week mark's the five-year anniversary of DOT losing Bridge electrician George Staab when he was fatally struck at his worksite on the Hutchinson Parkway in the Bronx. Last month, six construction workers were killed on I-695 near Baltimore when a car broke through a gap in protective barriers. Preliminary National Transportation Safety Board reports indicate that the driver was speeding.
The project along Meeker Avenue highlighted by DOT today configures the area under the BQE to provide specific space and connections for pedestrians and cyclists, including a connection to the Kosciusko bike and pedestrian path. The enhancements in this project require the greatest amount of concrete poured this season at DOT and will greatly clarify movements for all users under the BQE.
DOT's Sidewalk & Inspection Division mobilizes nine Safety Improvement Project crews each season, along with 22 pedestrian ramp crews and as of yesterday now features two additional Green Wave crews. Last season the division poured over 42,000 cubic yards of concrete for DOT work.
As part of the Meeker project DOT showcased its new volumetric concrete mixer, which allows the Citywide Concrete crews to make pours from one to 10 cubic yards without experiencing any waste and gives DOT the ability to perform work on nights and weekends when vendors would not be available or charge premium prices.
As Earth Day approaches the volumetric concrete mixer offers an environmental benefit as well as DOT can test various low carbon concrete mixtures, including recycled concrete aggerate (RCA) from the agency's concrete recycling operation and glass pozzolan made from ground-recycled glass as a cement replacement.
"The GCA's most important assets are our partners in the construction trades who work each day building New York's roads and bridges," said General Contractors Association of New York Executive Director Robert Wessels. "We want them to go home safely to their families each night, and we therefore urge motorists to slow down, and obey work zone speed limits and traffic signs."
"Work zones play a critical role in protecting workers and the public so that construction and maintenance work can be completed safely for the betterment of our communities," said National Grid Vice President - Gas Operations and Programs Aaron Choo. "We join with DOT, other agencies and utilities to highlight the importance of Work Zone Safety and encourage everyone to do their part to ensure a safer environment for both workers and motorists."