Nothing puts a damper on a family outing quite like stop-and-go traffic. Budding excitement and anticipation all but disappear when orange “Road Construction” signs and flashing arrows indicate changing traffic patterns and delays. If you’re proactive, however, there are ways to limit the Road Construction Blues this summer. These tips can help you brave road construction season and enjoy all the fun things you planned.
I recently talked to Sean Wolf, vice president of Wolf Paving, of Oconomowoc WI to get an insider’s take on the road construction season, as well as his recommendations for motorists. Here are three tips he shared with me.
1. Stay Informed
Most of the frustration with road construction occurs because motorists don’t expect it. Travel plans don’t always take into consideration construction projects along the intended route. To avoid this frustration, stay on top of road construction projects in your area.
Follow your state’s construction projects by visiting your Department of Transportation’s website. This way you can plan an alternate route to avoid construction, or just know that you may hit some traffic slowdowns along the way. Also, look at local city or community websites, as well as major attraction websites. They often post the most current travel information for potential visitors and tourists.
2. Be an Advocate For the Road
If you run across a pothole, there’s a pothole app for that. As an example, in the City of Milwaukee, you can use an app to post pictures and locations of potholes that require repair. In addition, many local communities offer hotlines or online submission pages to report concerning road conditions. Sometimes it’s as easy as snapping a photo, tagging your location, and posting it directly to the local public works department for repair consideration.
The key takeaway here is you can be an advocate to help improve the roads. Municipalities can’t fix what they don’t see. If you see a road issue, be an advocate and report the problem so it can be repaired.
3. Stay Positive and Think Safety
At Wolf Paving, they love road construction and are proud of the work they do, but they understand most motorists don’t share those feelings. Road construction for motorists means orange cones, blocked lanes, and slow traffic. But remember, the contractor’s job is to keep the roads safe for you, your family, and your vehicle. They repair deficiencies in the road, lay new smooth surfaces, and help make your travel easier in the long run.
So as you travel this summer, think about the long term positives of road construction and about the safety of road workers. They’re passionate about their jobs and they want to work in a safe environment each day. As a motorist, this means you should always follow road speed signage and traffic pattern changes, and overall, be cognizant of worker safety.
Are you going to change the way you travel this summer to avoid road construction? How will you plan your travel routes? I'd love to hear your tips. Please share them in the box below.