Bypass construction workers ask drivers to slow down
April 3, 2007
Albany-- As drivers deal with bypass construction, workers urge you to pass through carefully. Construction began about a month ago along a 10-mile stretch on the Liberty Expressway. With some time before the project is complete, you are asked to slow down.
It's one of the most dangerous jobs. "Very," said Peggy Fahrenkamp.
Work, only inches away from heavy cars in motion. "There's still a lot of danger. You just have to really be careful," said Fahrenkamp.
But it's a profession that Peggy Fahrenkamp chose. "Used to work inside for ten years, so I like the opportunity to be outside," said Fahrenkamp.
For the past several years, she's braved busy highways and expressways. During those years, she's seen some of the worst drivers.
"People coming in the lane that's closed, people not paying any attention to signs letting you know they're out here," said Fahrenkamp.
This job along the Liberty Expressway is no exception. "Just going a little bit too fast," said Fahrenkamp.
The speed limit is now 55 miles per hour, 10 below the norm. Some people are driving too fast to notice the change.
"A lot of them don't pay any attention," said Fahrenkamp, "they still think it's 65 out here."
Dozens of workers could be along the bypass at a time. Even with almost a decade of experience, Fahrenkamp says it can still be frightening.
"I get scared sometimes. I jump away a lot." So she has a plea for drivers. Fahrenkamp says, "Please slow down and watch out for us because a lot of times, our equipment has to go over the white line which people don't realize."
As a traffic control operator, she just wants to get the job done safely. "Just think of them or a loved one that would be out here and they would want them to be safe so we'd like to be safe also," said Fahrenkamp.
She'll be working long hours to make sure that's accomplished. So far thing's haven't been too bad. "Maybe just little fender benders or something like that, someone losing a mirror from hitting a barrel or something like that."
There's a hope something that like that doesn't turn into something worse out here. And drivers will like the end result---a smooth road, courtesy of workers in the middle of rough conditions.
Construction is done between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. but the speed limit of 55 lasts 24 hours. The Department of Transportation says the anticipated completion date is June 30th. It could be done as soon as late May or early June if work continues to go as smoothly. Upon completion, the speed limit will once again go back to 65.