Hefty Fines in Potentially Dangerous Construction Zone - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Hefty Fines in Potentially Dangerous Construction Zone

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Construction workers on Interstate-94 are sending a powerful message to drivers: Don't force yourself to live with the regret of killing someone.

"They view it as an inconvenience. It slows them down. They need to get somewhere, but again, we just want to get home to our families too," explains construction worker Sharon Schmidt.

Crews continue ramping up work everyday on a 5-mile stretch of I-94, going through three major cities all the way from Veterans Boulevard in West Fargo to Moorhead. Those working on the road, say people are already driving way too fast.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol is taking no chances with the magnitude of this project. It has overtime hours available for troopers, and will be using their regular hours to enforce this stretch.

The peak times will be morning and evening rush hours, but rest assured, if you are speeding at any point you could be caught.

"We're gonna be breaking out concrete. We're gonna be replacing concrete structures."

Sharon Schmidt is gearing up as she works construction on Interstate 94.

"It's gonna require the help of the public along with what we know as safety measures."

Because at the back of her mind...

"I have children, you know. Those of us that don't have children at home, we are children of somebody else who wants us to come home at the end of the day."

One of the unique parts about this project is that crews will be working right next to the traffic, as little as two feet away at some points.

So obeying the speed limits, and paying complete attention is a must.

"If you hit one of those cones, you're in danger of hitting a person."

Because if you don't...

"We give very little leeway in these construction zones."

"It really gets people's attention when you hand them a 100 or 120 dollar citation."

Sergeant Dave Wolf says, you need to understand the speed limits are there not only for the safety of the workers, but the drivers.

"60 miles an hour as opposed to 40 miles an hour, there's gonna be a big difference in the type of injuries you sustain."

Troopers will be patrolling the ends of the construction zone especially to make sure when people hit the zones, they are right at 40, and aren't passing in "no pass" zones.

"It seems like just an inconvenience to drive through a construction zone."

While the work will change day-to-day...

"One thing's gonna stay consistent is the speed limit and the fact that we're gonna be out here enforcing the speed limits."

Because avoiding crashes and getting everyone home at the end of the day is the goal.

"We're just doing what we're asked to do to create a better situation for everybody."

North Dakotans may be used to those $10-$20 dollar speeding tickets, but in construction zones that isn't the case. If workers are present, you will get a minimum fine of $80 dollars, plus another $2 dollars per mile an hour over if you're going 10 over the speed limit.

Although many of us follow the unwritten rule that "5 miles per hour over is okay," it is written policy for the Highway Patrol to either issue a written warning to the driver or issue a citation if people are caught driving just 5 to 6 miles an hour over the speed limit. 

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