Joining with the New York City and New York State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), MTA Bridges and Tunnels marks "National Work Zone Awareness Week" during April 19th to 23rd, 2010, to help highlight the dangers to roadway crews and to call on motorists to drive with care around and through work zones.
This year's theme—"Work Zones Need Our Undivided Attention"—underscores the need for drivers to stay alert and aware, especially as they cross through roadway construction zones within confined spaces such as toll plazas, bridges, tunnels and on– and off–ramps. Speed and inattention—including illegal use of hand–held communication devices while driving— are the leading causes of work zone motor vehicle crashes.
"We want drivers to be aware of workers and to slow down as they approach and pass work sites," said Jim Ferrara, Bridges and Tunnels Acting President. "That awareness will save lives."
The Authority has posted signs for Work Zone Awareness Week on toll booths at the plazas of its seven bridges and two tunnels, in addition to "Drive Carefully" reminders on electronic variable message signs.
Nationwide more than 40,000 people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes in work zones, and more than 700 people died in work zone–related incidents in 2008. The national awareness campaign coincides with the start of construction season every spring, although transportation road workers are on the job year round to maintain the streets, roadways, highways, tunnels and bridges for the safety of all.
As part of the annual drive to raise awareness, the landmark Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan will be lit in "work zone orange" all week.
For more information on National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels' nine New York City crossings carry approximately 800,000 vehicles daily. They are: the Robert. F. Kennedy, Throgs Neck, Bronx–Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Verrazano–Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn–Battery Tunnels.