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Portland Water Bureau

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Raise Your Awareness & Drive Safely Through Utility Construction Work Zones

By Lindsay Wochnick


Project in N Portland

For many public and private utility workers in Portland, their ‘office’ is actually a construction work zone on a city street. To keep these workers and others safe, the Portland Water Bureau encourages the public to drive carefully through all work areas. 

Caution in construction zones is vital for the safety of City of Portland workers as well as for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. To stay safe, the Water Bureau has these important tips: 

  • Know the work zone signs. Orange warning signs are there to help you and others move safely through roadway construction areas.
  • Obey flaggers. Flaggers are trained to move traffic safely through work zones, so pay attention to their directions and obey their instructions.
  • Obey posted speed limits. Speeding through a work zone is a major cause for accidents and injuries. Many states, including Oregon, have significantly increased fines for speeding in a work zones. Pay attention for reduced speed limits and slow down.
  • Watch other drivers and objects. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment and workers. Watch out for sudden stops, merging traffic and other work zone dangers.
  • Stay focused and avoid distractions. Do not use cell phones or text while driving. Avoid eating and other activities which may take your focus from the road, this includes looking down to change the radio station.
  • Expect the unexpected. Stay alert for lane or road surface changes, possible mobile work zones and erratic driver and bicyclist behavior.
  • Keep your cool and be patient. Work zones are necessary to improve the roads for everyone and to meet community needs.
  • Find another way. If you know in advance that there will be construction on a street , during the construction use an alternate route to avoid traffic delays. 

Remember, everyone plays a role in maintaining a safe work zone during utility street construction.

Lindsay Wochnick
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