Good Construction Zone Safety Practices


It’s an undeniable fact that construction sites obstruct the movements and activities of our daily lives—on our morning commutes to work, for example, the last thing we want to see is that bright orange sign that reads “Road Work Ahead.” Sidewalk closings, too, prove to be nothing short of inconvenient as they often force pedestrians to haphazardly share the road with motorists. Compounding this inconvenience is the danger of proximity to an active construction site: according to Creative Safety Publishing, an organization dedicated to providing safety tips for the workplace, in 2012 a student at Ohio State University was struck by a dump truck while riding his bike past a construction site. The New York Post reported that between the years 2010 and 2015, 59 people had been struck by falling debris from New York City construction sites.

Follow these three simple steps to stay safe and become a more mindful and respectful passerby at construction sites:

  1. Respect the signs and learn what they mean.

Take an active role in your safety and understand important safety signs. identifies five important symbols that communicate three important messages to both workers and passersby: the hazard, the means of avoiding the hazard, and the consequences of not avoiding the hazard. Common symbols include:

Hazard symbols (yellow triangle with black border) warn us about potential site dangers and their consequences (think: biohazard sign).

Prohibition symbols (red circle with red slash through middle) instruct us on what activities to avoid when near the site (think: “No Smoking” sign).

Mandatory symbols (white square or blue circle depicting an instructional action) tell us what we must do to stay safe when near a construction site (think: “Hard Hat Area” sign).

Information symbols (white square with a red image) direct us to important life-saving equipment and exits in case of an emergency (think: fire extinguisher sign).

Safety symbols (white square with black image, occasionally accompanied by a red circle with a slash) both shows us the proper steps to take to avoid danger and the consequences of ignoring important hazard warnings (think: “Caution: Wet Floor” sign).

  1. Avoid “rubbernecking.”

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, engaging in distracted driving activities such as rubbernecking can double your risk of crashing. Sneaking a peek at an active construction site for just two seconds can increase the risk of an accident up to 24 times. While construction sites can be sources of curiosity and excitement, catching closeup views of the new bridge’s construction at 60 miles per hour (mph) is not worth the risk of threatening your life and the lives of others.

  1. Don’t gawk: research!

Calm your curiosity safely by visiting this website that keeps you in the loop about projects in New York City that are currently under construction. Excessive staring, both while driving and on foot, can cause significant disruptions around a construction site and can be dangerous to yourself, your fellow travelers, and onsite workers. If you are curious about a project, simply select its location on the site’s provided map and read up!

Delaware Valley Job Corps Project

The Delaware Valley Job Corps is a U.S. Department of Labor training center located in the historic St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, a former Roman Catholic seminary, in Callicoon, NY. The property was sold to the federal government in 1977, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

For this design-build project, KC teamed with HVRS, Inc. to provide design services for structural repairs, abandonment, and filling of a below-grade food storage vault.

During the design phase of the project, KC attended a field meeting and reviewed and approved the CLSM mix design. KC also developed construction and modification plans and specifications for the fill area and structural repairs, including restoration sections for asphalt.

KC conducted calculations for loads applied to existing walls. Details and calculations for CMU infill sections in an existing doorway and window opening were provided by KC, as well as sequencing, placement specifications, and notes. KC also provided EPA-compliant guidelines for sand blasting of steel and lead paint.

In the project’s construction phase, KC attended the pre-construction meeting, reviewed shop drawings and submittals, and responded to RFIs. KC also reviewed differing site conditions and suggested modifications for change order processing. KC reviewed test results and placement logs, and is also monitoring progress, as needed. KC has been observing on-site construction activities and will provide final sign-off on the completed project.

Estrada Road Hotel Project

In December 2014, AEONN, LLC proposed an 85-room hotel located on an 11.1-acre site at 100 Estrada Road in the Village of Woodbury. KC is preparing the site plan and all associated documents and studies for the proposed hotel.

In January 2016, the Planning Board made a negative SEQRA determination, and a public hearing on the revised site plan was conducted for the project.

The lot is situated on the south side of Estrada Road and borders the west side of the NYS Thruway (I-87). While Estrada Road is not a county road and is not maintained by the NYSDOT as a component of the state highway system, it was designed and constructed by the NYSDOT as a state highway and was eventually designated U.S. Route 6 and operated as part of the state highway system until 1972.

KC prepared a Long Form EAF for the project including Parts 1 and 2. As part of the preparation of Part 3 with the Planning Board, KC prepared several supplemental studies. A habitat assessment was performed and provided to NYSDEC to confirm that, although the site was generally within areas of known habitats, no endangered species habitats were present. Wetlands were flagged and located on-site. A traffic study and pedestrian study were also performed for the project, to complete SEQRA and to satisfy public concerns.

The proposed hotel at 100 Estrada Road is a less intensive land use than many of the uses permitted in the Village IB zoning district. The proposed hotel will not alter community character as it is fully consistent with the Village comprehensive plan and will not have a significant negative impact on Estrada Road.