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NOREEN: Slow for cone zones with new I-25 construction

By: Barry Noreen barry.noreen@gazette.com
April 30, 2013 Updated: April 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm
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Highway work means lower speed limits in work zones.

Reader Leslie Lorenz wrote, 'So many of us will be contending with the road construction on I-25. The speed limit is 65 through that area. My question is does the speed limit apply all the time or just when there are workers present? Sometimes you see signs to that effect, but not always, and not in this case. '

The answer is, 'it depends. '

Under the policies of the Colorado Department of Transportation, there can be situations during construction and maintenance projects when reduced speed limits apply only when workers are present. However, it can also be the case that when workers are not there, reduced speeds still are justified because of the presence of cones or lane closures.

After the General Assembly passed a law allowing for the doubling of fines for speed limit infractions in construction zones, a CDOT internal memo said the 'fines doubled' signs 'may stay in place when there are no workers present if the hazard that was introduced still exists. '

A hazard might include construction equipment left overnight, close to the roadway. Common sense tells us that a state law could never anticipate every situation that might arise during highway construction.

The policy takes note that: It is impossible to describe every potential situation that may require double fine signs. Therefore, the construction project manager or the maintenance crew chief will be responsible for determining the significance of the hazard being introduced and properly installing, moving, covering and removing the signs to fit the situation. '

Thus, motorists, if you see the reduced speed limit signs, even if no workers are present, you must slow down to be within the law.

Reader Bruce Francione wondered, 'now that the Gazette is printed in Denver, please tell me if your deadlines have been changed? '

The answer is 'no.'

As in the past, this means we still might not get a late-night game score in from the West Coast. Also as in the past, deadline can be set earlier in case of bad weather, or made later occasionally, as in the case of election results.

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Got a question? Contact Barry Noreen at 636-0363 or at barry.noreen@gazette.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Hear him on KRDO NewsRadio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM at 6:35 a.m. Fridays.

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