Monday, April 17, 2017

Reminder: Drive work zone speed limit, or pay double fines

It's a simple message but not every driver pays attention to it:
"Drive the work zone speed limit, or pay double fines." 

Between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. last Wednesday, a double major traffic incident occurred on both eastbound and westbound I-435 that snarled traffic through the morning rush hour, creating huge backups and major delays.

First, a vehicle hit the temporary barrier wall on westbound I-435 at Metcalf Avenue, shoving barrier into the eastbound I-435 lanes which were then struck by a vehicle and semi. More than forty 12.5-foot concrete barrier pieces were moved and had to be reset. One barrier piece was entirely broken and had to be replaced.

A close up of one of the broken barriers that had to be replaced. More than forty concrete barriers were either moved or broken following last week's crash.
A crane had to be brought in and the two eastbound I-435 through lanes from Quivira Road east through Metcalf Avenue were fully closed until 9 a.m. this morning to reset the barrier pieces.

KDOT Metro Area staff have said that they have not seen barriers broken or damaged  of this magnitude in their 20 years of experience.

This was NOT a closure planned for construction work on the I-435 Pavement Reconstruction Project. These delays and closures were due to traffic crashes. The highway had to be closed for the safety of the traveling public until all barrier pieces could be reset.

For construction phasing and schedule, traffic impacts and the various ways you can stay informed on the massive I-435 Pavement Reconstruction Project, click here to view the I-435 Pavement Reconstruction Project Factsheet.

The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, take it slow, #Drive55, obey the warning signs, put down the phone, focus fully on the road, and “Give ‘Em a Brake!” when approaching and driving through the project work zone.  

Save a life. Save some time and spare you wallet. Follow work zone speed limits.

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