September 8, 2023
By Lane Kimble
MILWAUKEE — There is a vast array of freeways, highways, roads, streets, and thoroughfares in Milwaukee’s 96 square miles.
Any one of those can feature a work zone at just about any time of year.
“We typically think of work zones as major interstates or highway projects, but that is not always the case,” WisDOT Southeast Region Deputy Director Emlynn Grisar said. “They can vary in size from hundreds of workers to just a single person working on the side of the road. They all classify as work zones where safety is our number one priority.”
Grisar joined other transportation, construction, and law enforcement leaders Thursday afternoon to stress the importance of work zone safety during the SE Region’s Work Zone Awareness event.
It marked the fifth and final reminder across the state that began with the governor’s Work Zone Safety Week proclamation in April, extending the message into a season-long push thanks to coordination with WisDOT, WTBA, and county highway depts.
This week’s event was held at the Washington Park Senior Center, which is a short drive west from Zignego Company’s $9 million Vliet Street reconstruction project.
Spann & Associates Project Construction Leader Samuel Martinez, who is assisting with the Vliet Street project, also spoke at the event.
“We’re out there working to make improvements to the roadway to make them safer for, not only the motorists, but pedestrians, bicyclists, anybody who’s using the roadway.
“It’s the responsibility of our team to be safe on-site and also make things better for everyone else. In turn, we need the traveling public to be part of that team,” Martinez said.
Wisconsin’s work zones saw one crash every four hours in 2022. Over the past five years, 63 people have died in work zone crashes in the state.