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MDOT, industry group announce work zone safety awards

LANSING, Mich. - A collaborative task force between the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the heavy construction industry recently gave its first awards recognizing outstanding efforts to put safety first in work zones across the state.

MDOT, along with executives from contractors, industry associations, and consulting engineering companies, launched the Work Zone Safety Task Force in 2018. This year, the group is sponsoring the Positive Project Safety Collaboration Award for the first time. The award recognizes partnerships between all parties working on a Michigan roadway project to achieve a positive safety culture.

"Celebrating and recognizing the good work MDOT employees and contractors are doing together to make our work zones safer is a crucial part of changing our culture to put greater emphasis on safety," said Tony Kratofil, MDOT chief operations officer and task force co-chair. "I'm grateful to the members of the Work Zone Safety Task Force for developing this award program and recognizing the collaboration and outcomes we all want to see."

Any MDOT-let project during the 2021 construction season was eligible. The task force considered 11 nominees this year, evaluating each project based on collaboration, implementation of new ideas and techniques for work zone safety, responsiveness to change in the work zone to promote safety, effective communication, and a demonstrated positive project safety culture.

Awards were given in three categories: small, medium, and large. 

The small project award went to the $3.3 million full-depth concrete pavement repair project on I-96 in Kent and Ionia counties. Contractor: C&D Hughes, Inc.; MDOT engineer: Tanya Pawlukiewicz. 
The medium project award was won by the $10.4 million I-675 repair project in Saginaw. Contractor: C.A. Hull; MDOT engineer: Brian Ulman.
The large project award was given to the $257 million I-275 rebuilding project in Wayne and Monroe counties. Contractor: Dan’s Excavating, Inc.; MDOT engineer: Jeff Horne.

"The winners of this first-ever award highlight the great things that happen when stakeholders work together in a constructive and cooperative way to always keep safety the top priority," said Mike Malloure, president of C.A. Hull and task force co-chair. "We hope that this award encourages everyone in our industry to think a little differently and always look for ways to improve safety for workers and motorists on Michigan’s roads."

The awards were presented at the annual Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) conference in Mount Pleasant on Jan. 19.  

A video with more information on the award, nominees and winning projects is available on MDOT’s YouTube channel.