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Boone County Fire talks about driving through construction

As the weather begins to warm up crews will begin working on more construction projects around mi-Missouri.

For example, crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation are working on sidewalks on Providence Road in Columbia and an expansion joint on the Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport.

Both of these projects are causing lane closures and, ultimately, traffic backups.

Gale Blomenkamp, from the Boone County Fire Protection District, said drivers can get in wrecks during these backups if they do not pay attention to the road ahead of them.

“When lanes get shut down to one lane, backups can occur pretty quickly. And you come up over a hill and you don’t have time to stop, the vehicle behind you may not either,” he said.

He said drivers need to know it is more difficult for tractor-trailers to stop in traffic.

“Give them plenty of space. Give them plenty of room, and have courtesy and be respectful on the roadways. That’s what it’s really about,” he said.

He people often get in wrecks in work zones because of the slower traffic.

“You see a lot of people nowadays when they’re coming into those zones and traffic is really slow, they’re turning on their four-way flashers,” Blomenkamp said. “That’s just another something for somebody else to observe that says, ‘Hey, something else is different than what the typical brake light is.”

He said it is OK for drivers to do this if they want, adding it just gives more of a warning to other drivers.

He described what the department would do if there were a wreck on the Interstate 70 bridge near Rocheport.

“Anytime there’s a wreck on that bridge, you’re getting two responses, one from Cooper side, one from our side. Depending on which direction that wreck has occurred determines which fire district can get to that accident more easily,” he said.

“If it’s an eastbound wreck, we’re going to go westbound in the eastbound lanes. So, when traffic is stopped, we can go against it.”

Blomenkamp said drivers should leave extra room between them and the car in front of them so if they see a car coming up from behind is not slowing down, they can move up and provide them more room to stop.

He also said drivers should stay in their vehicles if an accident occurrs or they could get hit.

He said the Boone County Fire Protection District typically does not see a spike in accidents with construction traffic.

He said it is just important for people to be aware that it is happening.

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