CDOT honors fallen employees on Remembrance Day

News Release

April 13, 2022 - Central/Eastern Colorado

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation held its annual Remembrance Day ceremony today, paying homage to the 62 employees who have died in the line of duty since 1929. Joining CDOT were representatives from the Colorado State Patrol, Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Contractors Association.

“With the highway construction season set to move into high gear, this is our opportunity to remember our fallen workers and highlight the need for safe driving throughout the state, not just in work zones, but along all of our roadways,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “People often forget that the men and women working in cone zones are part of someone’s family and they should drive through them as if that worker was a member of your family or a friend.”

Remembrance Day is held in conjunction with National Work Zone Awareness Week. This year’s theme: Work zones are a sign to slow down.

"One of the most dangerous challenges for road workers is staying out of harm's way while vehicles pass by a work zone," stated Col. Matthew Packard, Chief of the CSP. "Lives are changed forever when these crashes happen, for the victim and for the driver. Stay alert and slow down. Treat these zones like your life depends on it."

In 2021, there were 12 crashes, resulting in 12 fatalities in Colorado construction and maintenance work zones.

“Every single worker in a construction zone is there to help improve Colorado’s roads and bridges, making them safer for motorists and the loved ones traveling with them,” said CCA Executive Director Tony Milo. "Each one of these workers is also someone’s mom or dad, son or daughter, wife or husband, who wants to see them make it home after a long day of work." Please pay attention and slowdown in cone zones and help them make it home to their families, just as you want to make it home to yours.”

Nationally, 842 people were killed in work zones in 2019 (most recent data available). While highways workers are at great risk every day, it is just as critical for motorists to be safe and responsible in work zones. In fact, four out of five work zone fatalities are motorists, not highway workers.

“Working on our roadways is a challenging and difficult job,” said the FHWA’s Colorado Division Administrator John Cater. “We owe it to our highway workers to be extra vigilant when driving through work zones so they can complete their work, allowing them and the people driving through those construction zones to make it home safely.”

CDOT averages between 175 and 200 projects on state highways and interstates each year, not including maintenance projects. When driving through a work zone, fines for most infractions are doubled. To help keep Colorado’s work zones and roadways safe, drivers are advised to follow these tips:

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!
CDOT's Memorial Rock at Denver Headquarters honoring fallen workers
CDOT pays tribute to fallen colleagues by having their name etched into the marble memorial outside its Denver headquarters building.