Chicago Construction News staff writer
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) held a work zone safety street fair at a recent Peoria Chiefs minor league baseball game.
It was a follow up of last September’s event when IDOT joined the Peoria Chiefs at Dozer Park to participate in the Orange Barrels-themed game. For three games, the minor league baseball team branded themselves as the Peoria Orange Barrels to honor construction workers, including the many fixing roads and bridges in the vicinity of the ballpark.
During the May 13 game, , IDOT held a Work Zone Safety Street Fair just outside the gates of Dozer Park, roviding pregame and educational fun for arriving fans. The event included:
- Public address/videoboard with safety messaging before and during the game
- First pitch by District 4 Highway Maintainer Kris Blayney
- Dizzy bat safety relay and Orange Barrel ring toss games for fans between innings
- Safety fair including five activity stations
A work zone sensory station looped a brief video on a large TV, with the volume turned up, showing actual footage of a local work zone. Visitors left with a sense what it’s actually like to cope with the noise and traffic in a work zone.The video can be seen here.
A work zone flagger station allowed participants to be a flagger or driver in a simulated work zone. As the flagger, participants prompted drivers of pedal carts to slow or stop as they moved through a simulated work zone. As the driver, participants followed the flagger’s commands. They learned how both roles have responsibilities to stay safe in a work zone.
A work zone big truck station was staffed by District 4 highway maintainers with the largest snowplow in the fleet. They discussed what it’s like to drive in snow and ice and how to deal with blind spots while driving heavy equipment.
“I appreciate IDOT’s efforts to be out in communities to educate on important topics like work zone safety,” Said Peoria County Engineer Amy McLaren. “The Orange Barrels game was a great venue to do that. This fun and informal event was a winning opportunity to interact with the community. Peoria County was happy to participate with IDOT in this initiative to reach over 3,400 game attendees on how they can do their part.
“By bringing awareness to the public on work zone safety, we can ultimately save lives.”