Drivers reminded to stay safe in road work season


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Construction season is on its way and there have already been several accidents in work zones this year.

Maneuvering around construction is nothing new to drivers but that hasn’t stopped four crashes from happening at a work site on I-205 at SE Stark this year and two in the past few days. One happened Friday afternoon and the other Monday afternoon.

On Monday, a driver hit some equipment in the work zone then overcorrected and caused another crash. Portland police said four vehicles were involved in that crash and two people were sent to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. 

“This is a lesson everyone needs to know, especially when we come in the busy summer construction season right now,” said Don Hamilton with the Oregon Department of Transportation. “Right now too there are a lot more workers on the road in the summer. There are people we have to look out for.”

ODOT said you should be watching out for bright orange but many times, distracted drivers aren’t paying attention and crash.

Four cars were involved in a crash at a work zone on I-205 at SE Stark on Monday, June 10. (ODOT) 

Driver Victor Polanco said he starts tapping his breaks when he sees that line of orange.

“I slow down, look for my surroundings,” he said. “Because I know there are workers and other people walking around, and just try not to hit something.”

Hitting something or someone only takes a split second.

“It’s critical to be extra, hyper-alert,” Hamilton said. “People’s lives are at stake out there.”

Hamilton said drivers need to pay attention, slow down, double your following distance and move over.

“Slow down,” driver Jessie Huff said. “You never know when someone could pop out or a pothole or cone knocked over. Slow down. Pay attention. Don’t do anything dangerous.”  

The I-205 work is a 2-year project adding auxiliary lanes and paving a second of northbound lanes. It involves occasional lane and ramp closures and is due to wrap up this fall. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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