(WTWO/WAWV)– As the weather continues to warm up, it also signals “construction season” around Indiana.
Sgt. Matt Ames with the Indiana State Police said in 2018, there were over 600 injuries and 14 deaths that occurred at construction zones around the state.
“We just ask people that find an alternate route, make sure you are not following too close when you come into the construction zone, that you obey the posted speed limit and you’re not driving while distracted,” he said.
This year, Ames said bridge projects would be the focus around Vigo County.
“There’s going to be some repairs that’s going to be conducted on the major bridges here,” he said.
Megan DuLucenay, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation’s West-Central region, said the official start date for construction season is April 1st, but projects that were started last year and not finished could see work start in the coming weeks.
“Some of those will start to kick back up again once the weather allows and maybe even before construction season technically kicks off,” she said.
As more and more construction zones start appearing, it will be frustrating for drivers all around the Wabash Valley– like Michael Roth.
“While it’s going on, it’s definitely a hassle as a driver,” he said. “Iit can put you behind where you need to go, and if you need to get to work or do some groceries, it’s just a hassle in your day to day operations.”
Still, Roth said the overall benefits of construction work make it a fair trade off for him.
“Once it’s done, there’s definitely positives about construction being finished,” Roth said. “Driving on newly-paved cement is a lot better than driving on highways where there is a lot of holes or stuff in the street that could do damage to your car.”
Ames offered a reminder for drivers that construction zones do come with higher penalties. He said they also have a seen a number of thefts in construction areas the past few years.
“There’s a lot of thefts that do occur in construction zones,” he said. One of the things we see most out here is we see people stealing the batteries out of the traffic signs, which that is very important so that there is no surprise for motorists coming through.”
For more information on ongoing and upcoming construction projects, check out INDOT’s website.