In response to recent crashes in the work zone between Exits 16 and 17 on Interstate 89, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has added safety enhancements following a safety audit conducted this week in partnership with Vermont State Police (VSP).

The safety audit was conducted in response to two consecutive crashes at the leading edge of the northbound lane divider, by VTrans design, construction, and traffic operations specialists; the agency’s design consultant; the contractor; and VSP.

“Safety is always a top priority, and our highway division experts were able to identify additional measures to improve safety in the Colchester work zone,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “We appreciate the support and input from Vermont State Police to work together with a common goal of reducing crashes." 

VSP continues to remind motorists to obey all posted speed limits, especially in work zones; to leave plenty of stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you; to always travel at a safe speed for the prevailing conditions; never to drive impaired; and to avoid all distractions behind the wheel, such as cell phone use.

The safety enhancements include the following:

  • Additional streetlight towers added behind the guardrail to improve illumination of the barrier and the work zone. The lights are installed to avoid glare for oncoming traffic.
  • Northbound traffic restricted to a single lane in the work zone during overnight hours. The two-lane divided configuration will be in effect only during the afternoon and evening hours when both lanes are needed for traffic capacity. This is anticipated to be approximately 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
  • Blinking lights affixed to the barrels for the merging locations approaching the end of the barrier to make it more visible. 

Work zone traffic configuration is scheduled to remain in place for two more weeks.