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MnDOT to commemorate Worker Memorial Day April 29

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Transportation will commemorate Worker Memorial Day with several events throughout the state April 29 honoring workers who died while working on MnDOT construction and maintenance projects.

“The passing of these workers is a tragic reminder of the dangers men and women face while keeping Minnesota’s roads safe for the driving public,” said Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “It is important that we honor all workers who lost their lives on-the-job by using extra caution in work zones.’’

The agency’s statewide observance to commemorate the day includes 10 seconds of silence. Since 1960, 33 MnDOT employees and 16 private sector contractors have lost their lives on the job while working on Minnesota highways.

Events on April 29 include:

Rochester: 8:30-10 a.m., MnDOT Rochester maintenance facility, 2900 48th St. NW.

Speakers: District Engineer Jeff Vlaminck; Laura Askelin, Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council; Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede; Lt. Heath Dienger, Minnesota State Patrol.

Roseville: 9 a.m., MnDOT Waters Edge building, 1500 W. County Road B-2.

Speakers: MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle; District Engineer Scott McBride; Minnesota State Patrol Sergeant Paul Skoglund; Tim Worke, Association of General Contractors; Mike Lindholt, president of AFSCME Local 221.

Mankato: 12:15 p.m., MnDOT Mankato Headquarters maintenance facility, 2151 Bassett Drive. Speakers: Representatives from AFSCME Local 280, Mankato Building Trades, State Patrol and MnDOT.

In recognition of Worker Memorial Day, the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis will be lit orange from midnight-11:59 p.m. April 29.

MnDOT reminds the public that motorists suffer the vast majority of work zone deaths and injuries.

MnDOT urges motorists to follow these recommendations in work zones:

n Stay alert

n Watch for signs, equipment and workers

n Minimize distractions, such as using cell phones, eating or drinking

n Avoid tailgating

n Follow posted speed limits and directional signs

n Stay in one lane while driving through a work zone.

—Staff Reports