Friday, September 28, 2018

Face to face with an oncoming vehicle

Clinton Suhr

By Clinton Suhr
As a construction inspector for H.W. Lochner for over 26 years, I have observed numerous accidents and near misses by both the traveling public and the construction crews performing the work. The majority of the accidents could have been avoided if people were more aware of their surroundings.
One of the most recent close calls that I remember was on the U.S. 77/K-18 new diamond interchange. The contractor had all of the traffic control in place to allow for the permanent striping of a section of roadway that was five-lanes wide with the center lane being hashed out.
They closed the inside three lanes of traffic with trim lines and all of the traffic was split out on the outside two lanes. They striped all of the long lines and normalized traffic. The center lane chevrons were striped with a hand sprayer mounted to the truck. The construction crew and inspection staff were working inside the double yellow center lane with a mobile operation.  As the paint truck was going to the next location, I requested it to come back and redo one of the locations.
As I ran out from behind the truck to stop the driver, I found myself face to face with an oncoming vehicle. The vehicle was paying attention and was aware of their surroundings, but I was not. I had become comfortable with the closed work zone area we had been working in. This shook me up for a bit and I will certainly not forget it.

Clinton Suhr is the Associate/Construction Inspection Manager for Lochner in Salina.




  1. Clinton, as you are well aware, situational awareness is critical in a work zone. Thanks for your candor.

  2. Such a good reminder about safety and to pay attention whether you're in a vehicle or near vehicles. Glad you are ok - thanks for sharing.