National Work Zone Memorial to be featured at Clare Welcome Center during July 4 holiday

This Fourth of July holiday weekend, Clare Welcome Center patrons will be able to view a special memorial for those lost in work zone crashes. The memorial currently features 1,602 names of road workers, drivers, pedestrians, law enforcement and other first responders, and children, and is updated yearly with additional name submissions from state departments of transportation.

Millions of Michigan drivers are expected to get behind the wheel this summer, and one of the busiest weekends for travel surrounds July 4. With traffic volumes expected to increase around the holiday, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants to remind all drivers to remain safe and focused as they travel, but especially when approaching a work zone.

Work zone safety remains a top priority for MDOT, and not just for workers but also for the drivers who travel through active work zones. Preliminary numbers indicate that in 2021, Michigan saw 19 fatalities (with additional serious injuries) in work zones, including both road workers and drivers, and more than 5,000 total crashes. Nationwide, the number of work zone fatalities is estimated at more than 840. The American Traffic Safety Services (ATSS) Foundation is working to bring realism to all work zone-related fatalities by placing the names of lives lost in work zone crashes on the National Work Zone Memorial.

The memorial remembers lives lost in work zones and encourage drivers and policymakers to recognize the importance of safe driving practices. The foundation’s traveling National Work Zone Memorial is available nationwide to any organization seeking to increase awareness of work zone safety. The memorial is 20 feet wide and stands 7 feet tall.

Costs for hosting the memorial June 29-July 5 at the Clare Welcome Center are sponsored by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). Set-up will begin tomorrow morning; once complete, visitors are welcome to visit the memorial through the holiday.