BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – As the spring and summer road construction season grows, crews can be found pouring new sidewalk ramps along Market Street in Boardman. It’s just one of many jobs underway.
The spring construction season is a dangerous time of year for road workers.
“Unfortunately, crews jumping out of the way as cars coming through the zone. It is not an uncommon thing. It happens all the time,” said Ray Marsch, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
According to state records, there were more than 4,500 work zone crashes in Ohio last year, 18 of them involved fatalities, and 125 of those accidents were in ODOT work zones. There have been more than 50 so far this year.
“This is a problem that is not going away. That’s why we want to bring awareness to make sure motorists are aware,” Marsch said.
Three years ago, an ODOT worker was killed while working along I-680 in Youngstown. And while there have not been any work zone accidents involving state crews locally this year, police and transportation officials have been pleading with motorists to be careful.
“All it takes is for one person to decide having a text or a FaceTime is more important than keeping their eyes on the road,” Marsch said.
The Market Street work in Boardman is part of a year-long project that will eventually see eight miles of Market being repaved from Midlothian all the way to Route 164 in Beaver Township, with crews working in different locations every day.
“Really pay attention. These construction zones constantly move, and the traffic patterns change, so you have to be aware of your surroundings,” Marsch said.