Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 27, 2017

MnDOT commemorates Worker Memorial Day in Rochester

Rochester, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation in Rochester commemorated Worker Memorial Day on Thursday honoring workers who died on the job on MnDOT construction and maintenance projects.

Since 1960, 34 MnDOT employees and 15 private sector contractors have died while working on Minnesota highways. In MnDOT District 6, the 11-county region in southeast Minnesota, six workers have died while working since 1960.

In recognition of Worker Memorial Day, the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis will be lit orange on Friday. In Rochester the event was held a day earlier. Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has proclaimed Thursday, April 27 as Worker Memorial Day in Rochester. A proclamation was read at the Rochester event.

“Each year, we gather for a moment to recognize and remember the men and women who have lost their lives while working on Minnesota’s highways,” said Jeff Vlaminck, district engineer in District 6. “Our construction season is taking off with many projects started or beginning next week, so this is a timely reminder for everyone to focus on safe driving in work zones. We want all of our workers to safely return to their families at the end of each day.”

Motorists suffer the vast majority of work zone deaths and injuries. MnDOT encourages motorists to follow these recommendations in work zones:

  • Stay alert
  • Watch for signs, equipment and workers
  • Minimize distractions, such as using cell phones, eating or drinking
  • Avoid tailgating
  • Follow posted speed limits and directional signs
  • Stay in one lane while driving through a work zone

Visit www.mndot.gov/workermemorial/ to learn more about the permanent worker memorial located at MnDOT’s Central Office in St. Paul.