WSDOT honors fallen road workers at memorial in Olympia

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Sixty orange construction barrels are now on display at the state capitol in Olympia, each representing a worker who has died in a work zone incident since 1950.

The Washington State Department of Transportation hosted a reception for the families of these fallen workers on Tuesday ahead of its Worker Memorial event.

The annual event, which takes place ahead of National Work Zone Awareness Week, was put on pause for the past three years due to pandemic restrictions.

WSDOT workers and leaders spoke alongside Gov. Jay Inslee about the dangers road crews face on the job.

Among the speakers was Adam Gonzalez, who has been hit in a work zone three times, suffering several injuries, since he joined WSDOT in 2016. He was also named the Washingtonian of the Day at Tuesday’s event.

During the ceremony, Inslee also signed Senate Bill 5872, which aims to protect workers by allowing automated speed safety camera systems in work zones on state highways. The law will go into effect in July 2024.