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Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Jamie Holter, WSDOT Communications, 206-440-4698
Safety of highway workers a priority; drivers should ‘know before you go’
LYNNWOOD – The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officially kicked off the 2011 construction season in Lynnwood today at the site of the $33 million Interstate 5 braided-ramp project. It untangles traffic where daily commuters, interstate travelers, and Alderwood Mall shoppers come together to jockey for space.
“Construction is a year-round job, but the most amount of work occurs from April through September,” said Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond. “This is good news in that more people are employed. But it also means drivers might encounter delays or detours, and they certainly should be extra cautious when they see workers.”
More than 100 major construction projects worth more than $1 billion will be under way in the Puget Sound area during the construction season. In addition to WSDOT employees, the projects provide jobs and business for dozens of Washington companies.
Also over the next several months, WSDOT maintenance teams will do striping, small paving projects, pothole repair, litter cleanup, tree trimming, storm-drain clearing, road-sign maintenance and repair, and replacement of reflective lane markers.
“With so many more people working along our highways, we would ask drivers to be extra vigilant in construction zones so all of our workers can go home safely to their loved ones at the end of their shifts,” Hammond said.
Hammond said the months ahead are also a time to “know before you go” to avoid getting stuck in traffic tie-ups or surprised by road closures. Some of the ways to “know before you go” include:
“We are pleased that taxpayers support improving the transportation system throughout our state and the benefits it brings, including reduced congestion, better travel times, improved safety and a stronger economy,” Hammond said. “Yet, we know getting the jobs done that bring those benefits can cause short-term headaches, particularly when everyone is in high gear during the construction season.”
The Washington State Legislature allocated $15 billion for 421 projects in 2003 and 2005 gas-tax packages. To date, WSDOT has delivered $10 billion in projects throughout the state.
Here is a look at just some of the work occurring in the Puget Sound area and beyond during this year’s construction season:
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