Workers and travelers who have died in roadway work zones will soon have their names inscribed on a memorial wall that will travel around the country.
Washington state will probably be the first destination for the traveling memorial after it is unveiled in April in Washington, D.C.
"Its just a way to pay respect to the fallen workers more than anything," Marty Weed, work zone traffic control manager for the Olympia region of the Washington State DOT (WSDOT), told ROADS & BRIDGES. "We have 55 here in Washington in our history that have fallen, just from the Washington State DOT."
Some logistical details still have to be worked out, but Weed is excited to have the national memorial in Washington on May 20, when WSDOT plans to rededicate its own memorial.
"Weve also dedicated a spot at our headquarters transportation building where we have a granite rock with a plaque on the rock basically saying this is a memorial for the workers, and we had a big ceremony" last year, said Weed.
"Its a good opportunity to raise awareness here in Washington," Weed added.
"The response has been phenomenal," said Jim Baron, director of communications for the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), the lead organization behind the creation of the national memorial. ATSSA received 677 names for the memorial before the Jan. 4 deadline, and more names will be added annually.
The wall commemorates people who have lost their lives in roadway work zones, not only work-zone workers but motorists, children, law enforcement officers and public safety officials such as firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
The National Work Zone Memorial consists of a wall on which the names will be inscribed and an educational kiosk to tell the story of Americas roadway workers using memorabilia or photographs contributed by employers and family members of those named on the wall. It is being built by Eastern Metal/USA Sign, Elmira N.Y.
After being displayed in Washington state, the memorial will be made available to any roadway organization or community around the country that would like to host it.
More information about the National Work Zone Memorial is available on ATSSAs website (www.atssa.com).