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PennDOT Unveils Road Improvement Projects for 2024

Roadwork ahead sign

There should be a third thing added to the list of inevitabilities you can expect in life: death, taxes, and construction on highways. Pittsburgh recently got a glimpse of future infrastructure plans from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Some big projects are coming up involving Parkway East, McKnight Road, and I-79. Here's what drivers in Pittsburgh need to know.

Watch out for crash hazards in construction work zones

While improvements are necessary to keep people safe and traffic moving, highway, and on-street construction work zones raise the risk of serious and fatal car accidents. In Pennsylvania, work zones were involved in more than 80 fatal accidents over the last 5 years. In the Greater Pittsburgh Area, construction on I-279 caused multiple fatal accidents.

Understanding the risk and where construction will happen can help Pittsburgh motorists prepare for the drive ahead and reduce running into hazards.

Work zone crash risks

Highway construction work zones are hazardous by nature, and many types of events and actions can lead to a work zone crash. These zones often have lower speed limits and narrow lanes. A sudden change can catch drivers off guard. Work zone hazards include:

  • Shifting lanes and reduced width. Construction zones often require narrowing of lanes, reducing the space available for vehicles, forcing them to squeeze right or left, and increasing the likelihood of collisions.
  • Altered traffic patterns. Detours and changes in traffic flow can confuse drivers, leading to unexpected maneuvers and potential accidents.
  • Inadequate signage. Unclear or insufficient signage can create confusion for drivers, making it challenging for them to navigate through the construction zone safely.
  • Limited visibility. Dust, barriers, and construction equipment can obstruct drivers' views, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of collisions.
  • Extended travel times. Frustration and impatience among drivers due to delays can lead to aggressive driving behavior, increasing the risk of accidents.

These factors collectively contribute to the elevated risk of crashes in construction work zones. While specific types of car accidents in work zones can vary, some common types observed on Pennsylvania highways include rear-enders, side-swipes, collisions with barriers and guardrails, lane departure, merging errors, and speeding, as well as distracted, fatigued, or alcohol-impaired driving.

Work zone safe driving tips

Driving is different when work zones are in the area. Here are some tips to help safely navigate work zones on highways:

Follow posted speed limits. Speed limits are reduced in work zones to account for changes in traffic patterns and potential hazards. Follow directional signs, lane markings, and any instructions provided within the work zone.

Stay alert. Avoid distractions like phones, radios, or engaging in other activities that take your eyes off the road. Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front. This provides adequate time to react to sudden changes in traffic.

Merge safely. Be prepared for lane closures and merging traffic. Merge early and smoothly, allowing plenty of space for other vehicles to merge as well.

Be patient and expect the unexpected. Conditions in work zones can change rapidly. When work causes delays, stay patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating or unnecessary lane changes. Be prepared for sudden stops, lane shifts, and other unexpected situations.

Upcoming highway projects in the Pittsburgh area

Knowing where and when to expect traffic interruptions can help drivers prepare for the trip ahead and avoid crashes. Here's what's coming up locally:

  • Parkway East. From Monroeville to Churchill, the roads and bridges will be renovated and replaced as needed. Installation of a new median barrier will reduce the section of the highway to three lanes for a while. In particular, the bridge over Old William Penn Highway, Commercial Street Bridge, and Squirrel Hill Tunnel will undergo major construction.
  • I-79. Upgrades from the Parkway West interchange to the Crafton/Moon Run exit.
  • McKnight Road. The busiest stretch of this commercial road will see the most work. Repaving is planned for a stretch of roadway from Babcock Boulevard to Perrymont to Venture Street.

When you're injured in an accident, we do whatever it takes to win

If you were injured in a Pittsburgh car accident, it's important to get legal advice as soon as possible. You typically have two years from the date of your accident to take legal action, but that doesn't mean you have time to waste.

Over time, evidence can be lost, and the memories of witnesses can fade. That's why you need an aggressive car accident lawyer who can investigate the crash, find the facts that matter, and build a strong case for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact the Romanow Law Group today for a free case evaluation. We can answer your questions and explain your potential legal options for compensation. Romanow Law Group knows what it takes to win in Pittsburgh. Find out how we can help with your potential legal case and give us a call today.

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