- Nick Carpenter
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899
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MnDOT urges travelers to use caution in work zones during Memorial Day weekend
ST. PAUL, Minn. —As Memorial Day weekend approaches and summer construction roadwork around the state begins, the Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to use extra caution while driving through highway work zones.
By visiting www.511mn.org or calling 5-1-1, motorists can plan their trips with the latest statewide traffic, construction, weather and travel information.
While the department will suspend work on many projects during the long weekend, motorists may still encounter detours and traffic restrictions as well as rough road surfaces and narrowed traffic lanes.
“We will be working on more than 250 construction projects in addition to several maintenance projects around this state this year—that equates to a lot of work zones,” said Mike Barnes, MnDOT’s Operations director. “It is important that motorists drive carefully and pay attention so they don’t hurt themselves or others.”
Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the deadliest on Minnesota roads during the spring and summer months. Safe driving during the long weekend ranks as a paramount concern for the departments of Transportation and Public Safety and law enforcement agencies statewide.
In 2010, there were 1,915 crashes that resulted in 11 deaths in Minnesota state highway work zones alone, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
MnDOT encourages motorists to follow these recommendations while driving, and especially when encountering work zones:
- Use safety belts
- Drive sober
- Stay alert
- Watch for signs and work zone flaggers
- Minimize distractions such as using cell phones, eating or drinking
- Avoid tailgating
- Follow posted speed limits -- Fines double in work zones
- Stay in one lane while driving through a work zone