Construction of the I-74 Bridge has seen a few mishaps since it began in 2017. Last February, the Iowa DOT reported that two workers were rescued after falling into the Mississippi River. Later the same month, a catastrophic failure resulted in a crane boom collapsing into the river. Road closures and detours have resulted in a number of traffic accidents with one area resident commenting she “sees accidents everyday’ as she takes the detours through the I-74 construction zone.
Anytime a construction company takes control of a road or bridge open to the public, they take responsibility to conduct operations in a safe manner to prevent injuries or fatalities to the public. Motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and in this case, those traveling on various watercraft below, all depend on construction companies involved in the repair or building of structures such as roads, bridges and overpasses to perform their jobs according to standard rules regulations and in a safe manner.
Preventing debris falling onto the traveling public below and making sure that roads remain free of hazards is key. Tools and equipment being used to perform work must be secured to prevent equipment from falling or otherwise interfering with the operation of vehicles or vessel passing alongside or underneath a bridge or overpass. Regular inspections of the bridge and roadway for potential hazards are necessary to ensure that areas impacted by construction are safe for use.
When heavy equipment is in use, it is important to separate the work site from passing motorists to ensure safety, which may result in road closures or detours. When redirecting traffic or closing areas of the road, adequate warning to the public is required so that they can safely navigate the road. Protecting the public and construction workers from injury on the job must be a top priority; failure to follow construction site safety rules can change lives in an instant.
Fortunately, the lengthy I-74 construction project has been relatively smooth. When the bridge construction is complete in 2021, it is expected to deliver Quad Cities motorists much more safely across the Mississippi River – a welcome improvement for employees and families in the area. If you or a family member is injured in a construction zone motor vehicle accident or you are a construction worker injured while on-the-job, contact the Davenport workers’ compensation and personal, injury attorneys of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.