‘A lot of things can happen very quickly’: TxDOT reminds drivers to watch for crews in work zones

Over 2,000 crashes were reported in area work zones, according to TxDOT San Antonio

It's National Work Zone Awareness week and TxDOT officials are urging drivers to give crews a break.

SAN ANTONIO – It’s National Work Zone Awareness week and TxDOT officials are urging drivers to give crews a break.

According to TxDOT, work zones experienced a deadly rise in crashes across the state last year when more than 26,000 crashes were reported, resulting in over 200 deaths.

One of the biggest projects taking place in San Antonio is the Loop 1604 North Expansion project.

Ismael Solalinde, a transportation engineer with TxDOT who is overseeing the project, said although drivers experience congestion and frustration along the busy corridor, he reminds them a solution is on the way.

“We’re going to be expanding to five lanes in each direction, so we’re going to be adding a lot of capacity,” Solalinde said.

He said the job requires caution, especially when it comes to navigating heavy equipment and materials. However, despite the careful attention, Solalinde said it doesn’t take much for a work zone to become a danger zone.

“We get those distracted drivers that blow through our work zone, putting all our workers in danger,” he said.

TxDOT San Antonio officials said 2,912 crashes occurred in work zones last year, resulting in 21 deaths, and 56 serious injuries.

“A lot of things can happen very quickly,” Solalinde said.

TxDOT reminds drivers to stay alert when they approach work zones and to be on the lookout for signs and crews wearing bright colored vests.

Solalinde said it’s a 24/7 job.

“Be patient with us and help us safely get this project completed,” he said.

For the latest on closures taking place in your area, click here.

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About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.