Photo Courtesy: USA Today

NDOT Celebrates National Work Zone Awareness Week

Theme Of 20-Year-Old Event Is “Drive Like You Work Here"

April 09, 2019 - 2:55 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - It's a big week for transportation officials and workers.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) celebrates National Work Zone Awareness Week, which takes place from April 8-12. The department oversees 763 miles of freeways and roads in Clark County, with over 18.3 million vehicle miles traveled last year in southern Nevada.

The theme of the 20-year-old annual event, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), among others, is “Drive Like You Work Here.” There were 1,179 crashes and 12 work zone fatalities statewide from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018. Two dozen NDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty since 1948. Ron Raiche Jr. was the most recent worker who died in the line of duty when he was struck and killed by an inattentive driver on March 30, 2015, while repairing roadway cracking on Interstate 80 near Battle Mountain.

Work zones are needed to maintain and improve the community’s roadway network. Cones, signs and other work zone directions help protect the lives of highway workers while delivering motorists safely to their destination. As such, it’s important to slow down through work zones, pay full attention, minimize distractions, including cellphone use, and make any necessary merges in advance. It’s also a good practice to keep a safe distance from nearby vehicles, traffic barriers, construction equipment and workers whenever possible.

“Work zone awareness week helps reiterate the importance of slowing down through active construction projects and obeying posted signage,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “State transportation employees are hard-working committed community members. They sweat and toil daily under the elements for our benefit, maintaining and enhancing our public infrastructure. They are our neighbors, family and friends. It’s not right that they should risk their lives earning a living.”

Motorists, meanwhile, face double penalties for speeding through work zones. Nevada Revised Statute 484.3667 doubles the penalty for speeding, up to $1,000, in any marked road construction or maintenance work zone when workers are present. Nevada Highway Patrol troopers spent 12,000 manhours patrolling and enforcing work zones statewide in 2017.

Transportation officials are busy, with Spaghetti Bowl work expected to wrap up Thursday. 

April 7-8 (Sunday night – Monday morning)

U.S. Highway 95 southbound to Interstate 15 northbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 7, until 5 a.m., April 8, in Las Vegas.

The Martin Luther King Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate 15 northbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 7, until 5 a.m., April 8, in Las Vegas.

April 8-9 (Monday night – Tuesday morning)

U.S. Highway 95 southbound to Interstate 15 northbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 8, until 5 a.m., April 9, in Las Vegas.

The Martin Luther King Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate 15 northbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 8, until 5 a.m., April 9, in Las Vegas.

April 9-10 (Tuesday night – Wednesday morning)

U.S. Highway 95 northbound to Interstate 15 southbound will be closed from 11 p.m., April 9, until 4 a.m., April 10, in Las Vegas.

Interstate 15 southbound to U.S. Highway 95 north and southbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 9, until 5 a.m., April 10, in Las Vegas.

April 10-11 (Wednesday night – Thursday morning)

U.S. Highway 95 southbound to Interstate 15 northbound will be closed from 10 p.m., April 10, until 5 a.m., April 11, in Las Vegas.

The Martin Luther King Boulevard on-ramps to U.S. Highway 95 southbound, Interstate 15 north and southbound will be closed from 7 p.m., April 10, until 5 a.m., April 11, in Las Vegas.

The temporary restrictions are needed for painting and miscellaneous work as part of Project Neon’s nearly $1 billion 4-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 from the U.S. 95 interchange to Sahara Avenue, which broke ground in 2016. Project Neon is 95 percent finished and scheduled for substantial completion this summer. 

For more information about national work zone awareness, visit the website at www.nwzaw.org.