Motorists urged to slow down in night time MDOT work zones - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Motorists urged to slow down in night time MDOT work zones

Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - When you see work crews transportation officials hope you will slow down and take extra precautions, especially at night.

That's a very dangerous time for Mississippi Department of Transportation workers.

It's National Work Zone Safety Week and MDOT officials remind you to watch your speed where crews are working.

Well after 8 p.m. Monday, MDOT contractors were working 12 feet from fast paced traffic on a section of I-55 where the speed limit is reduced to 50 miles per hour.

Their backs are turned to the danger as they make lighting improvements.

Crews were replacing 130 foot lights on the interstate near Beasley Road.

It is a tough task trying to do your job in the dark while tons of steel race past you.

"Working at the night time does increase the risk for our workers in our work zone and people drive fast at night. People are impaired at night. So we just need everybody to pay attention to signs, slow down and be courteous," said MDOT Project Engineer Brian Ratliff.

Four hundred twenty three light poles and fixtures on I-55 from McDowell to County Line and on I-20 will be removed and replaced.

Some are 30 years old.

"I'd just like for yall to see how fast the traffic is actually moving and how close the cars are to our workers and the contracted workers and how unsafe it can be," added Ratliff.

Thirty eight orange cones are displayed at the entrance of the Department of Transportation building in Jackson.

Each one represents a Mississippi Department of Transportation worker killed while in construction or maintenance work zones.

The agency hopes you will heed their warning signs, reduce your speed and keep their crews safe.

Lighting repairs are expected to be completed in the fall.

In January two MDOT workers were killed and another injured in Lumberton while they were spreading sand on icy roads.

They were hit by an elderly woman who lost control of her car.

©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten  or redistributed.

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