We've all heard the saying about two seasons in Wyoming – winter and road construction season. The shift in seasons is well underway.
Motorists traveling through Wyoming will see more construction crews working on the roads now that warmer weather has arrived. The Wyoming Department of Transportation’s construction season typically starts in April and the majority of the work is completed by the end of October.
"Officials want to remind the public to slow down, put down distractions and obey posted speed-limit signs to ensure everyone is safe," according to a WYDOT community notice this week.
“We currently have about 65 active projects throughout the state now that our construction season started,” WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner said. “More projects will start over the next few weeks and will continue throughout the summer. We want motorists and our crews to get home safely each day, which is why we are asking everyone to pay attention and drive extra cautiously in our work zones.”
The agency cautioned travelers that when driving through a work zone, motorists can encounter changing traffic patterns and increased activities from crews. For example, if crews are working on one lane of a two-lane highway, traffic may be diverted to the other lane with crews allowing alternating traffic one direction at a time.
Motorists may also encounter increased signage alerting them of changing road conditions, concrete barriers that separate traffic, traffic cones, flaggers and other work zone safety measures.
“We don’t want to see any fatalities or injuries in our work zones,” Reiner said. “That’s why we want to bring awareness about traffic patterns and conditions people will experience in work zones. We want drivers to pay attention, slow down and heed construction signage so they help keep each other safe.”
Fatalities have occurred in Wyoming’s work zones over the years with three in 2015, three in 2016, five in 2017, three in 2018 and four in 2019, according to data from WYDOT’s Highway Safety program. As for total injuries, there were 70 in 2015, 62 in 2016, 75 in 2017, 96 in 2018 and 61 in 2019.
When traveling during construction season, motorists may check WYDOT’s 511 website at wyoroad.info for road and travel conditions, and they should allow for extra time to get to their destinations, obey posted speed limits in construction zones, WYDOT stated.