NEWS RELEASE

PARDON OUR DUST!  ONE OF THE LARGEST CONSTRUCTION SEASONS REQUIRES DRIVER PARTNERSHIP

Governor Hogan Declares April Work Zone Safety Awareness Month; April 11th as Go Orange/Roadway Worker Appreciation Day

(April 12, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is kicking off one of the largest construction seasons in history. At the same time, fatal work zone crashes are on the rise. Preliminary data indicates 14 lives were lost in work zones in 2017 compared to six lives that were lost in 2016.
 
To bring attention to this issue, Governor Larry Hogan designated April as Work Zone Safety Awareness Month, coinciding with the current national observation of Work Zone Safety Week. The Governor also declared April 11th as Go Orange / Roadway Worker Appreciation Day to remind Marylanders to partner in work zone safety. Government House in Annapolis, the Baltimore Clock Tower and M&T Bank Stadium will be lit in orange as a tribute to highway workers and to help raise work zone safety awareness. These efforts, combined with a summer-long outreach campaign, are intended to protect workers, as well as the drivers and passengers who will travel through the hundreds of work zone  in place throughout Maryland.

Today, MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater, Maryland State Police First Sgt. Colin Bristow, workers and contractors visited two active construction work zones – the $43 million project at MD 5 (Branch Avenue) at Brandywine Road (MD 373/MD 381) interchange construction project in Prince George’s County and the $7.3 million bridge replacement project on MD 137 (Mount Carmel Road) over I-83 Expressway in Baltimore County. Perched atop new bridges not yet open to traffic, Administrator Slater pointed to the dangers of working on Maryland roadways, while asking Maryland motorists to slow down and stay alert in work zones. 

“You’ll see the orange cones, barrels and signs: Pardon our Progress, Pardon Our Dust. We’re making a lot of dust as we embark upon one of the largest construction seasons in our agency’s history. This dust is tied to a core element of our mission: we connect our customers to life’s opportunities,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater. “So please ‘Pardon our Dust,’ stay safe and Go Orange to support the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters out there improving our roadway system. Let’s work together to get everyone home safely each day. Work zone safety is in your hands.”

Nationally, on average 700 people lose their lives annually in work zone-related crashes. Over the last six years, nearly 50 people lost their lives in Maryland work zone crashes. Motorists and their passengers account for four out of five work zone fatalities on area roadways.

Through social media, billboards, radio public service announcements and other education materials, MDOT SHA is raising awareness of safe driving through work zones to reinforce these safety messages. In addition to Government House and the Stadium, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and MDOT SHA headquarters buildings will be lit orange, along with other displays of orange from private industry partners across the state.  MDOT SHA will share “Go Orange” efforts on their social media platforms tagged #GoOrangeMD.

For a complete listing of major roadway projects in Maryland, click on Road Ready, an online construction brochure. For more information on Work Zone Safety Awareness, visit www.roads.maryland.gov and click on the work zone safety banner. Maryland drivers can also know before they go by calling 511 or visiting www.md511.org for live traffic updates.

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