Friday, April 13, 2018

Is it really worth it?

By Jeff Barnes
Jeff Barnes
Vice President of Venture Corporation

We are all in a hurry.  We live in an instant gratification society.  We want what we want, and we want it now.  We have cell phones, Google, texting, the internet, Facebook, Snapchat and many other ways for instant communication.  When it comes to travel we have fast cars.  And we don’t want anybody to slow us down.  Who doesn’t get irritated at that driver in the left lane going 2 mph slower than you and they won’t get out of your way?  This probably costs you 30 seconds of your time.  Is it really worth the aggravation?
Work zones are another area that can aggravate drivers.  Slowing down to 55 mph on the interstate seems like such an inconvenience.  Driving 55 mph rather than 75 mph through a 10-mile work zone on interstate costs you less than three minutes.  Is three minutes really worth a speeding ticket, or causing an accident, or worse yet hitting a worker?  Is it really worth the risk?
A bigger inconvenience involving work zones is when you encounter a flagger and have to wait on a pilot car.  I know it seems like an eternity, but the maximum wait time in the pilot car line is 15 minutes.  KDOT (and the public) do a good job of monitoring our pilot car cycle times.  If we get over 15 minutes, we hear about it and must change our process.  Pilot cars are necessary when the road is narrowed to one-lane traffic.  A potentially dangerous area of a flagging zone is approaching the flagger.  I have seen some terrible wrecks because somebody wasn’t paying attention and didn’t stop in time and hit a stopped car.  Please be patient at the flagging zone.  It isn’t the flaggers fault.  Is it really worth the risk of a crash?
I’m Jeff Barnes, Vice President of Venture Corporation.  I have been building roads for 34 years.  We are making the roads you drive nicer and safer.  Please slow down and get where you are going.  My workers have the right and the expectation they will go home to their families each night. 



  1. Instant gratification and the believe "it won't happen to me" seems to be acceptable excuses to take unnecessary risks which endanger lives of workers and drivers. Thanks for highlighting the dangers of these beliefs and asking people to stop and think of the consequences.

  2. Jeff...well said. Thank you for sharing from a contractor's point of view!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Jeff. We all need reminders about how important it is to use caution in work zones. The time spent in construction zones may seem inconvenient but it’s worth the wait to make sure everyone arrives to their destination safely.

  4. You're absolutely right, a minute of time isn't worth risking lives. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jeff - I would guess that those who travel through work zones oblivious to the work going on and the people doing that work have never actually stood in a work zone and felt the traffic pass by. It is a shame that one of the most dangerous things we do every day - drive a car - does not command more attention from us. Thanks for sharing and may you and your employees go home safely every night.

  6. It's not really worth it. Wise words coming from great experience. Thanks for sharing. Be safe out there.