The Minnesota Department of Transportation will commemorate Worker Memorial Day with several events throughout the state Monday, April 28, honoring the fallen workers who died while working on MnDOT construction and maintenance projects.
"These tragic deaths are terrible reminders of the dangers men and women face every day, while they keep Minnesota's roads safe for all of us," said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. "Today, we mourn their loss, honor their courage, and recognize the sacrifices of their loved ones."
The agency's statewide observance to commemorate the day includes 10 seconds of silence. Since 1960, 34 MnDOT employees and 15 private sector contractors have lost their lives on the job while working on Minnesota highways.
Events on April 28 include:
Rochester -- 9 a.m., MnDOT Rochester maintenance facility, 2900 48th St. NW
Mankato -- 12 p.m., Pub 500, 500 South Front St.
Chaska -- 1 p.m., MnDOT Chaska Truck Station, 4725 Chaska Blvd
Brooklyn Park -- 3 p.m., Governor Dayton and Commissioner Zelle will attend an Egan Company Worker Memorial Day event
"The ceremonies come at a time when crews are beginning work on several road projects around the state," Zelle said. "MnDOT will be working on more than 300 state highway construction projects throughout Minnesota this year--that equates to a lot of orange barrels."
In recognition of Worker Memorial Day, the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis will be lit orange on April 28 from 12:01 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
Motorists also are encouraged to show their support for Worker Memorial Day and those who build and repair Minnesota's roads and bridges by joining in the MnDOT Thunderclap, www.thndr.it/PudMJE. Thunderclap is a social media tool that lets many people share the same message at the same time, like a virtual flash mob.
MnDOT reminds the public that motorists suffer the vast majority of work zone deaths and injuries.
MnDOT urges motorists to follow these recommendations in work zones:
Watch for signs, equipment and workers
Minimize distractions, such as using cell phones, eating or drinking
Follow posted speed limits and directional signs
Stay in one lane while driving through a work zone