Thruway Authority marks Work Zone Awareness Week

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — One year after a shocking crash in a work zone, the Thruway Authority has the same message: Slow down, move over, and be alert in work zones.

It was April 14, 2021, when a car went speeding down the shoulder on the Thruway near Albany to pass a truck in a marked work zone. It crashed into a piece of equipment and ricocheted across three lanes of traffic.

While the crash looked horrific, it could have been a lot worse. The crew that was working in the area had gotten into their vehicle just 20 seconds before the crash, narrowly escaping being hit.

Thruway Director of Maintenance Jim Konstalid is using the close call as an example of why it’s so important to drive carefully in work zones.

"The men and women you see around me and working on the side of the road are parents, children, brothers, sisters, family, and friends," Konstalid said. "We’re your neighbors. Please give us your attention and please, please put down the cell phone when driving, especially through work zones."

This week is Work Zone Awareness Week, so you might have noticed signs on the side of the road that read "Drive like you work here."

The Thruway Authority said there was 175 work zone crashes on the Thruway last year alone, and that number has grown over the last five years.