Work Zone Awareness Week

The 20th annual National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 20-24, 2020, across the nation. Every spring, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and its partners sponsor National Work Zone Awareness Week, to bring attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in and around work zones.

Locally, some of CDOT’s largest projects are observing NWZAW in a number of ways:

  • The 18-mile, I-25 South Gap Project between Monument and Castle Rock is the state’s longest construction zone. While safety is always top-of-mind, the project will honor NWZAW through a social media video, coloring contest for Colorado elementary school students (winning design becomes a sticker for hardhats and receives a $50 Scholastic gift card), electronic board safety messages and a billboard near Larkspur.
  • The Central 70 Project is reconstructing a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between I-25 and Chambers Road, including the lowering of the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards.  It is marking the week with social media posts, text message alerts, reminder messaging in the weekly traffic alert and driver reminder via the electronic message signs.
  • The I-25 North Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins Project will increase capacity, improve several interchanges and replace aging bridges.  For NWZAW, crews will be encouraged to participate in Wear Orange Day on Wednesday, April 23, and take photos for social media, the project website and email updates.  A video also will be developed regarding safety messages specific to the I-25 North Corridor.

2020 CDOT Remembrance Day

Although its headquarters remain closed for most all employees, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s 26th annual Remembrance Day will be held virtually on Tuesday, April 21, as part of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

CDOT Remembrance Day and National Work Zone Awareness Week is even more meaningful to our CDOT family this year, as we recently lost one of our own. CDOT Surveyor Steven Hagemann died earlier this year after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while working on a project to improve pedestrian safety in the Denver area. We thank Steven for his service and dedication to our state’s transportation system. Steven’s death sheds light on the importance of slowing down and giving undivided attention while driving through work zones.  

CDOT Workers Lost In the Line of Duty (photo not available):

Joseph “Dutch” Krouth, 1929, Arthur Dekalb, 1952, Wayne S. Whitlock, 1957, Alfred M. Dunham, 1957, James E. Trimble, 1958, Eldon Misner, 1958, William O. Townsend, 1958, Willard W. Hunter, 1960, Harry “Gus” Nelson, 1962, Donald R. Edison, 1963, Carl L. Hicken, 1964, Roger Pope, 1966, Henry Kahl, 1967, Ernest E. Wich, 1967, Wray N. Roth, 1968, Robert F. Miller, 1969, Melvin A. Jackson, 1973, Ted Wills, 1974, Jerome H. Falk, 1976, Charles V. Hendricks, 1977, Mark Van Wyl, 1977, Rydell Gasler, 1978, Terry L. Kishbaugh, 1978, Harold D. Martin, 1978, Rodney A. Benjamin, 1982, Harland C. Glaser, 1982, Alan E. Losey, 1985, Victor J. Dempewolf, 1985, Milton Walling, 1995,, Richard Gorrell, 1995, Thomas J. Frank, 1996, Rodger Bell, 2006,, Chuck Mather, 2006, David J. Valdez, Jr., 2009, Eric D. Hill, 2019.

“We will continue to honor the memory of our departed colleagues each and every year, no matter the circumstances,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana  Lew.

Know the Facts

Work zones are a necessary part of the life cycle of our streets, roads, and highways. They provide a safe area for workers and a safe route for road users around needed road work activity (construction, maintenance, utility). Crashes in and around work zones impact everyone.  

In Colorado, eight people were killed following a crash in a work zone.  Six were driving through a construction zone and two were part of the work crew.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2018, the last year statistics are available, there were 671 work zone crashes, resulting in 754 fatalities, the majority of which were motorists.  Roadway workers accounted for 124 of those fatalities.

Relative to 2017, 2018 saw several favorable trends in a decreased number of work zone fatalities and fatal work zone crashes around the United States, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Administration (for the most recent years available). Total work zone fatalities and fatal work zone crashes decreased by nearly 7%, and the number of fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased by 6%. In 2018, there were decreases in both fatal work zone crashes where speeding was involved and worker fatalities on road construction sites. However, the number of worker fatalities due to vehicles running over or backing over a worker was unchanged from 2017 to 2018.

For more information visit www.nwzaw.orgFollow the CDOT Facebook page for daily updates this week recognizing the safety efforts by Team CDOT.


The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • 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!