Road worker killed while picking up construction cones

Freightliner trash truckDylan Joseph Snyder was killed in Kansas after being hit by a trash truck.  Snyder, 22, was picking up road construction cones and signs when the truck rear ended one vehicle and sideswiped two others stopped for the construction.

After hitting the vehicles, the truck struck Snyder who was airlifted to Christi Medical Center’s St. Francis campus where he died.

Jonathan Marcus Yoder, 36, was driving the 2008 Freightliner trash truck. He first rear ended a 2012 Chevrolet Impala driven by Cynthia S. Nelson, 41, that was stopped behind two road construction vehicles. The truck then sideswiped Snyder’s unoccupied 2008 Chevrolet Colorado. Snyder’s car was parked in the road behind a 2008 Ford F650.

The driver of the Ford F650, David A. Holzknecht, 21, wasn’t hurt, but David R. Holloway Jr., 24, was injured. He was in the back of the truck stacking signs and cones being passed up by Snyder.

Nelson and Holloway were treated at a local hospital, but neither were seriously hurt.

Yoder, who was wearing his seat belt, didn’t suffer any serious injuries either.

3 tips for staying safe inside road construction work zones

roadworksignAlthough many types of construction work can be considered hazardous, few tasks are more dangerous than those conducted in road construction work zones.

A number of construction site hazards can be mitigated through effective control measures, but the unpredictability of other drivers—particularly those who are impatient or inattentive – puts work zone crews at a higher level of risk. Here are some tips to keep safe while in a work zone.

1: Know the jobsite safety plan and know it well

Your supervisor will have not only a jobsite safety plan, but also a traffic control plan designed specifically for the work zone. This plan will outline the traffic flow, as well as designating pedestrian-free zones and pinpointing the location of barriers and other positive traffic control measures. Prior to beginning work, familiarize yourself with the plan, so you’ll know exactly where it is safe to walk or to stand.

2: Make yourself visible

Never assume anyone – whether it’s a driver or an equipment operator – can see you. Wear high-visibility safety apparel at all times while in the work zone. Know the blind spots of the equipment and vehicles in the work zone, and be sure to stay out of those areas. Never remain in an area near working equipment if you don’t need to be there. If you’re on foot, maintain eye contact with operators when you’re working near moving equipment. When standing near parked equipment, stand in front or on the operator’s side so you’re easily seen.

3: Realize your risk of being injured increases during night work

After the sun goes down, the danger goes up. The darkness combined with the glare from lights will greatly reduce driver visibility. Poor weather conditions will only exacerbate the situation. Also, drivers may be less attentive than usual, as they are more likely to be tired. It’s more important than ever to stay in the proper areas designated by the traffic flow plan. In addition to wearing hi-vis apparel, make sure you have good lighting in your work area.


Keep your eyes and ears open and don’t get distracted. Awareness of your surroundings at all times is your best bet for remaining safe. Regularly check your work area for hazards, and be aware of any changes in procedures or traffic flow in the work zone. Always keep what you’ve learned in your safety training at the forefront of your mind, and remember, if you need a refresher course, many free programs and tools are available that will help you.

Editor’s note: This post was originally written by Amy Materson, Managing Editor of Equipment World.

VIDEO: VP Biden explains the importance of transportation infrastructure

Joe_Biden_official_portrait_crop2Vice President Joe Biden wants to change the way the United States invests in transportation infrastructure. Biden calls it the “Grow America Act.”

Watch Biden explain his plan and the importance of transportation infrastructure by clicking play on the video below!

What do you think of Biden’s plan? Share your thoughts in a comment below!

Can you believe how much bad roads cost Texas drivers?

Dallas Texas TrafficBad road conditions are costing the average Texas driver in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area more than $1700 a year. The report, released by TRIP (a national transportation organization), claims deficient roads, heavy traffic and high operating costs are taking its toll on Texas drivers.

The report claims nearly one-fifth of bridges in Texas are in need of replacement or repair. TRIP also says 16 percent of the state’s urban roads and highways are in need of improvement.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington road conditions cost the average area driver $1740 per year thanks to vehicle operating costs from driving on bad roads, lost time and fuel due to heavy traffic, and unfortunate traffic accidents.

According to the report the average area driver pays $508 each year in vehicle operating costs, which includes accelerated vehicle depreciation and tire wear. Driving in the area costs area drivers an additional $957 annually due to lost time and fuel from traffic congestion.

“These high costs are like a hidden tax on our motorists; we’d all be better off investing a little more in improving our transportation infrastructure and avoiding these costs,” said Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes, chairman of the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition.

Traffic crashes in Texas have claimed the lives of 16,041 people between 2009 and 2013.

VIDEO: Watch time-lapse of I-84 bridge replacement

I84 bridge replacementConnecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s office released the below video which features a bridge replacement project on Interstate 84 in Southington.

The project costed $6 million using a process known as accelerated bridge construction (ABC). During the process the new bridge is built on-site next to the old one, then swapped into place once complete.

Thanks to ABC, the highway was only shut down for one weekend during the replacement process.

“This project not only demonstrates the unprecedented investments we are making to improve and modernize our transportation infrastructure but also the steps we are taking to ensure these kinds of projects are completed ahead of schedule and with as little interruption as possible to area residents and travelers,” Malloy said in a statement. “By employing ABC principles, CTDOT took a creative approach to virtually eliminate what would have been many months or even years of traffic disruptions and congestion on I-84 and the local roads surrounding the project.”

22 states represented at transportation advocacy workshop

ARTBA national workshop for state and local transportation22 states participated in the inaugural “National Workshop for State and Local Transportation Advocates,” held at the Washington Court Hotel. In addition to state representatives, the workshop also attracted transportation construction executives and “better roads and transportation” professionals.

The purpose of the workshop is to build coalitions and develop strong relationships with governor, state legislators and public agency officials. The common goal is to create a communications plan that delivers messages to the public about the value of infrastructure improvement.

During the workshop ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black highlighted trends in state transportation investment initiatives since 2000.  Public affairs executives and policy shapers detailed “what worked” and “lessons learned” on legislative proposals in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and ballot initiatives in Georgia and Arkansas.

Meanwhile Oregon State Senator Bruce Starr offered participants advice on how to make transportation investment a top priority for elected officials.

Towards the end of the workshop ARTBA Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Bill Toohey announced the launch of a Transportation Investment Advocates Council. It will create a network of advocates throughout the country to share experiences and best

Illinois Governor signs $1B plan for road repairs

Pat_quinn_governor_of_illinoisIllinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a $1 billion capital spending plan, intended to create jobs and help repair the state’s roads and bridges.

Transportation officials claim the money will go toward “shovel ready” road projects scheduled to take place this summer. Quinn estimates the 210 road projects will create around 14,300 jobs.

Most of the work will include resurfacing portions of major roadways, including Interstates 55 and 72. Some bridges need to be repaired as well.

“It is imperative for all of us that we make investments to make sure we take good care of these roads and bridges, relieve congestions, get people to their destination as quickly as possible, as safely as possible,” Quinn said.

The repair plan will be paid for by selling bonds and paying back the loan with revenue from retired bonds. Some proposed paying for the road work with a fuel tax increase, but that plan was opposed by gas station owners claiming the state’s fuel tax is already too high.

Future for trucking bright? ATA predicts so

ATA's predictions on regional freight movement in the U.S.

ATA’s predictions on regional freight movement in the U.S.

Trucking will see continued growth both in freight and revenue in the next 10 years, according to the American Trucking Associations’ U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2025.

Between now and 2025, tonnage will grow 23.5 percent, ATA predicts, while freight revenues are predicted to grow a whopping 72 percent.

However, adaptation by carriers will be key to enjoying the boom, says ATA, as regional growth patterns, technological changes and the evolution of manufacturing and distribution will make the industry more complex. Carriers that become “True logistics experts” will be the ones that come out on top, ATA’s report says.

The report also predicts that truck’s share of freight will continue to grow in the next 10 years, though by just a few percentage points — from 69.1 to 71.4.

Truckload volume will grow by about 3.5 percent a year through 2019 and then 1.2 percent annually in the next five years, the report predicts. But truckload carriers will use intermodal rail for longer hauls.

ATA’s Forecast can be purchased as a bound volume or a downloadable PDF at

Editor’s Note: This post was originally written by the staff of Overdrive Online.

4 dead after semi hits stopped vehicles

CT truck-crash04.jpg

The aftermath of a truck accident that resulted in four fatalities. — Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune.

Four people, including an 11-year-old girl, are dead after the driver of a semi-truck hit three stopped vehicles on Interstate 55 in Illinois. Four people who were in stopped vehicles due to traffic were killed.

The names of the victims are: Ulrike P. Blopleh, 48, of Channahon; Vicky L. Palacios, 54, of Coal City; Kimberly K. Britton, 43, of Urbana; and Piper Britton, 11, also of Urbana.

Four other people were injured in the crash and taken to local hospitals.

The 51-year-old semi driver, Francisco Espinal-Quiroz, of Leesburg, Ind, has been charged with keeping a false log book and willfully entering false information. He was driving for Espinal Trucking, a one-truck, one-driver operation owned by Espinal-Quiroz. His company has no history of previous crashes.

Francisco Espinal Quiroz, 51, caused a crash that killed four people. Photo: Will County Sheriff's Department

Francisco Espinal Quiroz, 51, caused a crash that killed four people. Photo: Will County Sheriff’s Department

State police district commander Randy Ness says the truck was passing vehicles in the left lane when he abruptly made a lane change striking the read of one of the vehicles and “pushing them all together.”

“Witnesses …said the truck was driving at a high rate of speed and the traffic was all at a dead stop as it was merging,” Ness said.

Later in the day there was a second accident on the same interstate involving one semi rear-ending another. Both truck drivers were taken to hospitals – one has died.

The driver who died was identified as Deividas Mockus, 41, of Darien.

Several deficiencies exposed in Skagit River Bridge collapse

Photo: Dusty Starling/Twitter

Photo: Dusty Starling/Twitter

Several deficiencies have been exposed following the collapse of Skagit River Bridge on Interstate-5 near Mt. Vernon, Wash. The collapse happened when the bridge was struck by a truck carrying an oversized load.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found a series of problems after investigating the collapse. First and foremost, the driver of the truck failed to perform basic safety functions, including proper route planning.

However, the NTSB was especially concerned with the lack of low-clearance warning signs for the bridge. In addition to the Skagit River Bridge, Washington State has several other bridges in its interstate system, similar to the Skagit River bridge, and none have low-clearance signs. Nor are there any signs indicating what lane oversized vehicles should use.

“We appreciate the work of the NTSB and its recommendations,” said Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson in a statement. “WSDOT has already begun acting on NTSB’s recommendations for improving access to data for the freight industry to better plan travel routes of oversized loads. We will work to enact all of its recommendations and will continue to work closely with the Washington State Legislature and freight industry on the recommendations that require legislative action.”

Of course that doesn’t mean the truck driver, and trucking company, doesn’t deserve some of the blame.  Mullen Trucking had obtained the proper permits for the trip, but failed to check and plan for low clearances for the route.

Two passenger vehicles and a camper-trailer fell into the river when the bridge collapsed and two other vehicles were damaged in the accident. Luckily none of the eight vehicle occupants were seriously injured.


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