Construction on roads is causing sporadic delays in traffic flow

By | August 6, 2018 7:41 am

Increased road construction and delays in movement of traffic can cause drivers to become frustrated. Sparta Police Chief Jeff Guth said drivers should be prepared to move over and observe safety procedures. (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

Road construction along Bockman Way has steadily increased the past couple of weeks and is causing numerous delays and frustration for drivers who complain about the possible damages that may occur to their vehicles.

With increased road construction comes increased need for safety. While there has only been one crash because of the construction, there have reportedly been many close calls.

The construction on Bockman Way will most likely last into September. City officials suggest that people use common sense when driving through the zones. This means staying off cell phones, slowing down, and being extra aware of surroundings.

“The bottom line is, people are going to have to anticipate that they are going to have to get over,” said Sparta Police Chief Jeff Guth. “If the lane is closing, you need to go ahead and get over. Don’t wait until the last minute and try to squeeze in.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most frequent fatality in work zone crashes are drivers, and those crashes occur more frequently in the summer and fall months. USDOT stated the deadliest work zone crashes have occurred in areas where the speed limit was above 50 mph.

“Be patient and slow down,” said Guth. “Just because it says 35 mph doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do 35; it may be 25. You especially need to slow down when there are workers out there.”

Should an accident occur inside a construction area zone and it is discovered to be the result of the contractor working for the state, then certain measures can be taken.

“If something should happen in one of our construction zones where a contractor is doing the project for TDOT and the incident should happen to be the result of some type of negligence on the contractor’s part, the party involved can file a claim with the contractor, and they will work through their insurance company to investigate the claim and decide on any compensation,” said Jennifer Flynn, Department of Transportation community relations officer. “

Flynn also said road construction safety zones are set up according to traffic control standards set forth in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices published by the Federal Highway Administration. USDOT offers some tips to drivers to stay safe and possibly save lives. Some of them include staying alert and minimizing distractions, merging into the proper lanes, and not tailgating.     Who knows what could happen,” stated Guth. “It’s just good to go slow through those areas so you’re safety conscious on that. It protects [the workers] and protects the driver as well.”

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