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Old 04-08-2014, 10:53 AM  
Lzen Lzen is offline
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PSA: It's Workzone Safety Awareness Week

It's that time of year once again. Construction season is starting up and therefore you will be seeing more constructions zone. Remember that the highway workers would like to go home to their families, too.

Quote:
Three Close Calls



By Peter Wiehe

In my 29-year KDOT career in the Kansas City Metro area, I have had many close calls but three stay in my mind. In telling these stories, I will try to give you an idea of what things that we have to look out for each day and every day we work on the road to make it safe for the traveling public.
The first incident was when I was an Equipment Operator at the Lamar shop - we were cleaning drains on northbound I-35 at Southwest Boulevard on the inside barrier wall and we had the left lane closed. We pulled the grate off the first drain and I crawled into clean the drain. I was in the drain about 30 seconds when I heard tires screeching and my coworkers yelling get down.
As I looked up out of the drain, all I could see was my coworkers running and climbing over the barrier wall, and then I could hear a car hit the arrow board. The next thing that happened was the scary part. The car went right over the top of the drain that I was in. I still remember what the underneath side of that car looks like, and that happened 26 years ago. I am glad my coworkers were looking out for me - otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here today.
The second incident was on K-32 at Turner Diagonal. We were doing bridge deck repair and we had an overnight lane closer set up in the left lane. The first day we hammered out the holes and formed them up. The second day we were pouring concrete. I was finishing the right edge of the hole when I heard the crew yelling and turned around to see a tractor trailer coming right at me knocking down the cones that were right in line with me.
I had no place to go but into the concrete that I was finishing. The area supervisor pulled me out and called KHP to chase the truck down. They found the truck about a mile away and the area supervisor went to identify the truck. The driver of the truck didn’t think he had done anything wrong, but the Trooper gave him a verbal warning.
The third incident was during a snow storm, the visibility was about an eighth of a mile. I received a call from KHP at 1:30 a.m., they needed traffic control on southbound I-435 at Kansas Avenue. A trash truck had rolled over and they needed I-435 closed at Kansas Avenue. All my crews were plowing snow, so I got help from a mechanic in our shop, a motorist assist, and the Kansas City, Kansas, police department.
We closed all three lanes using my pickup in the number one lane, the motorist assist in the number two lane, and the KCK police in the number three lane. This is the best we could do with what we had, and everything was set up and working fine for about an hour. The motorist assist came over to talk to me, and was standing outside of my pick up for a couple of minutes. When I looked in the mirror, I could see a set of head lights headed right for my pick up, all I could say is we are going to get hit.
The motorist assist turned around and started running away. The car missed my pick-up by two inches and hit the motorist assist pick-up and broke the parking pin and sent the pick-up about 300 yards down the road. The driver of the car said later to the Trooper that he wasn’t drunk that he only had one pitcher of beer. It was hard for all of us out there not to lose our cool, we were all very fortunate that no one got hurt.
So I am asking that you pay attention to the road work signs, look out for workers, and other drivers on the road. Please don’t use your cell phones while you are driving and don’t drink and drive. We want you to get where you are going safe, and we want to go home at the end of the day as well.

Peter Wiehe is the Highway Supervisor at the KDOT Bonner Springs office
http://ksdotblog.blogspot.com/2014/0...l#comment-form

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Old 04-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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Oh I got stories . As a land surveyor for 35 years working around and on roads, highways and bridges and even airport runways ive got some stories and close calls.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #4
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I have always wondered why they are called workzones? I mean isn't stand around zones a better discriptor?

Also. Why is it that it takes soo long to repair a stretch of highway? I have seen driveways longer get enlace quicker than small sections of road with less people and equipment. And then closing down 10 miles of a lane to do a couple hundred yards a day/week?

Now I will say. This is strictly modot. Kansas seems much quicker and efficient. Modot seems like a scam.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:32 PM   #5
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Good post....let's try to keep those guys safe
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
I have always wondered why they are called workzones? I mean isn't stand around zones a better discriptor?
I always feel so bad when I see the “slow children playing” signs. Those poor kids.
At least when they grow up you know they can find a job when you see the “slow men working” signs.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
I have always wondered why they are called workzones? I mean isn't stand around zones a better discriptor?

Also. Why is it that it takes soo long to repair a stretch of highway? I have seen driveways longer get enlace quicker than small sections of road with less people and equipment. And then closing down 10 miles of a lane to do a couple hundred yards a day/week?

Now I will say. This is strictly Modot. Kansas seems much quicker and efficient. Modot seems like a scam.
Im sure your a real bolt of lightning at your workplace.

And when you drive though a workplace and you see a guy standing around what do you do stop and gawk? That's a bit gay? Most likely you passed through and seen the fellow 5 seconds tops. Ever think that maybe they are waiting on materials or have a break? Sort of like you posting at work or at the coffee pot. You might want to know a little something about highway construction before you claim to know what someone should be doing.

Obviously you have no Idea that most of what the DOT do is repair maintenance. The road construction is generally contracted out to private construction companies. Missouri is like in the top 5 states for paved highways and state routes not to mention County Roads. Work is let in stages as money is available. No contractor is gonna work and not get payed. Kansas on the other hand doesn't have near the paved roads or bridges to maintain.

As for the KDOT taking less time to pave a highway that depends could be what you saw was a overlayment. Where they co-mill a 3 to 4 inch layer of pavement then resurface. This is completely different that a rehab. A rehab means you completely remove the old pavement rework the sub grade and compact. Then you rebuild new pavement all the while keeping the traffic flowing and open.

Buy you knew all that being a sidewalk engineer. All knowing of the schedules and who should be busy and who is a stand around guy. Because we all know full well you have never been seen to be doing nothing.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:39 PM   #8
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srvy View Post
Im sure your a real bolt of lightning at your workplace.

And when you drive though a workplace and you see a guy standing around what do you do stop and gawk? That's a bit gay? Most likely you passed through and seen the fellow 5 seconds tops. Ever think that maybe they are waiting on materials or have a break? Sort of like you posting at work or at the coffee pot. You might want to know a little something about highway construction before you claim to know what someone should be doing.

Obviously you have no Idea that most of what the DOT do is repair maintenance. The road construction is generally contracted out to private construction companies. Missouri is like in the top 5 states for paved highways and state routes not to mention County Roads. Work is let in stages as money is available. No contractor is gonna work and not get payed. Kansas on the other hand doesn't have near the paved roads or bridges to maintain.

As for the KDOT taking less time to pave a highway that depends could be what you saw was a overlayment. Where they co-mill a 3 to 4 inch layer of pavement then resurface. This is completely different that a rehab. A rehab means you completely remove the old pavement rework the sub grade and compact. Then you rebuild new pavement all the while keeping the traffic flowing and open.

Buy you knew all that being a sidewalk engineer. All knowing of the schedules and who should be busy and who is a stand around guy. Because we all know full well you have never been seen to be doing nothing.
Ask most highway dept guys and they will tell you they are lazy... Sorry dude.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
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Well I am not a DOT guy and most likely the guys working behind those orange barrels aren't either. The work for a contractor who has so much time and money to complete the project. No one can predict the weather and neither can the contractor when he bids on a project. Most contracts have a deadline if you dont meet the deadline you start paying a penalty. And by the same token that contractor gets incentives to finish ahead of schedule. Most spread the wealth to the worker who worked the project when you go under time and budget.

DOT clear snow and ice. They mow right of ways. They clear drains and culverts. They replace guardrails and signs. They replace lighting and repair potholes. They don't do much road construction, bridge building, grading or construction of storm lines and culverts. Its contracted out along with the engineering for the most part.

I do know one thing believe half of what you hear and even less of what you see. Go out and work a day with a DOT might be in for a rude awakening.My 35 years as a surveyor I have found that the public always knows what should be done and how to go about it. The longer they talk to you the more you relise they dont know nothing. Just like I dont know there job nor how to go about it. Do you?
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:07 PM   #11
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Lol, I have several friends that work fot modot right here in town, they will all tell you they have a cake job, every one of them. They stop by the shop to hang out and usually say we are working too hard.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:08 PM   #12
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:48 PM   #13
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I don't know when ever Ive done highway rehab surveys for Modt or Kdot Ive had little contact in the field with them other that the mowers or guardrail and sign crews I occasionally see.

But for the umpteenth time the guys constructing highway's and building bridges are contractors and are not employed by the DOT.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:51 PM   #14
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #15
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Most of you probably dont work out in the public eye. Many my guess behind a cubical? And of course its all assholes and elbows behind that cube. Yeah aha when I go in the office from the field 2 out of every four are playing a computer game or are on a social network. But but but but I had to touch a brake on the way to work today. That damn highway guy he was standing. That why im late damn highway orange barrels. That damn guy standing if he was working id punched in on time. Give me a brake.
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