April 28 was Workers’ Memorial Day in Minnesota

By John Michaelson
Minnesota News Connection

Roadbuilding is one of the most dangerous jobs in the state and those workers who have been injured or killed in Minnesota’s highway construction zones were remembered. Monday, April 28, was Workers’ Memorial Day and Judi Holloway with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), says that since 1960, 33 MnDOT employees have lost their lives in work zones.

“It’s important not just for the Department of Transportation, but for people all over Minnesota, to recognize people that may have died doing the job that they were paid to do,” she said.

In addition to the risk to the MnDOT workers and other contractors, the dangers are also present for motorists with nearly 7,000 work-zone crashes in the state in the past four years alone. That includes 37 fatalities and, as Holloway said, that’s why it’s vital to obey speed limits and avoid distractions in construction zones.

“You can just, for one split second, take your eye off the road and all of a sudden, there’s a truck off to the side of the road,” she said. “Or maybe it’s somebody doing some survey work or somebody flagging and all of a sudden, you’re off onto the shoulder and right into them, or their vehicle.”