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