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Construction zone mishap

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A reminder about safety in our road construction zones… This after a 78-year old driver plowed into a stretch of freshly-poured concrete on the 25th street/I-94 work site.

Minutes after the concrete incident, contractors made some changes to sign placement, hoping drivers better understand where to go.

Contractors tell us the 78-year old woman felt terrible about driving head-on into the freshly poured concrete. She sat in her car waiting for crews to remove her and the car from the 12 inches of the soupy mess.

Sharon Schmidt- Industrial Builders: “She was flustered and embarrassed and it was a simple mistake; a mistake in the project.”

It is easy to see why this happened. Once her car was removed, workers began scooping up the pour so new could be put in. 

As this was going on, yet another driver became confused. Here is what happened: As people approach the bridge from the north heading south, they need to choose. Exit ramp or south on 25th, past Doolittles… And that is where we had problems.

Schmidt: “Right where the split was, she got on the ramp’s side and not the 25th street side and soon found herself in wet concrete.”

Construction contractors say with the nice weather, work is going full tilt… More workers, signs, barrels; more reason not to be distracted.

Kevin Gorder- North Dakota DOT: “We are at a point now where we are changing every day and so it is different everyday so what you drove yesterday may not be the same today.”

By late morning, contractors adjusted the signs to help drivers.

“Duration of lane changes, it will be fast moving for the next few weeks until we get traffic to the west side of the road.”

The woman who drove into the concrete pour will not face charges. Her insurance will have to pick up the approximate $10,000 cost of a new concrete install.

And Kevin Gorder reminds everyone because workers have witnessed it in the work zones: Distracted driving, texting and talking increases the risk of crashes here. 

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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