Construction workers contend with Mother Nature’s worst


Extreme heat and cold, flooding rains, strong storms and snow. The construction and maintenance workers you see in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio have experienced it all.

Rain and flooding can have a big impact on how quickly a road construction project comes together. Too little rain can make for a lot of dust. Too much rain can make a muddy mess or may mean pumping water. But, thunderstorms and lightning can be the most disruptive. Most construction companies have a severe weather plan in place. Most importantly, the crews need to get inside and off of the equipment. 

Keep in mind that construction and maintenance doesn’t always take place at ground level. High above The Summit City, Scott West and his crew at Nitelites Signs & Graphics were tasked with installing a new logo sign on the I&M building back in November. The winds were critical for this project, which took about a half dozen people over a week to complete. They traveled 15 minutes up and 15 minutes down the 400ft tall building, taking down the old sign and replacing it with the new logo. According to West, each piece was over 30 feet long, so any amount of wind was detrimental. Based on their preparations, they needed days where the wind would be less than 10 mph. 

According to West, they were “…bringing down the AEP sign and the winds picked up in the middle of nowhere, and of course, it was on the bad side so it’s kind of flopping around up there, guys are trying to hold it, so it does get scary, especially if it starts flying away from the building and pulling you away from the building, a lot of things can happen.”

No matter what wind and storms Mother Nature may throw their way, construction and maintenance workers have the same absolute priority: safety. According to West, if it can’t be done safely, it can’t be done.

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