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I-80/35 ACCIDENT: Work Zone Safety Reminder

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A Marshalltown man is in critical condition Tuesday recovering from an on-the-job accident along Interstate 80/35.

It's a reminder of the dangers construction workers face.

The high speeds and heat are enough to make anyone`s head spin. Combining that with heavy lifting and power tools, Iowa Department of Transportation’s Andy Loonan says you have to be more than careful in construction zones, “A lot of moving equipment out there, heavy machinery and unstable grounds and things like that so it`s just unsafe in nature.”

Monday night`s accident is further proof of just how dangerous these zones are. According to Iowa State Patrol around 8:30 p.m. a construction worker walked into the path of an excavator. The 50-year-old Trinidad Banderas was then run over by the front tires.

Loonan says busy metro highways make it necessary for crews to work in the evenings when they can close portions of the road.

"If we were to shut down lanes on Interstate 80/35 the traffic would be backed up for miles. So we try to stay away from that. And then the other benefit is it does allow those workers to be out there when there`s less cars,” Loonan says.

Because of Iowa`s long winters, crews have to cram in a lot of construction work which is why Loonan says no matter who you are, if you`re out on these roads, you need to be careful.