Texas Department of Transportation workers are promoting road worker safety through art.
Orange traffic barrels hit by motorists were resurrected into a snake, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a road worker by El Paso District maintenance employees and artists Robert Gray, Ramon Hartnett, Jesus Hernandez and Estevan Benavidez.
The creatures are on display at the Texas Travel Information Center in Anthony, Texas.
Robert Gray, maintenance section supervisor for Fort Davis and Marfa, Texas, said he wanted to spread road safety awareness in a creative way.
"We wanted to do something catchy where that message could potentially take off," Gray said.
The creatures were made at TxDOT yards in Alpine and Fort Davis, Texas.
Square tubing made from old barricades and sign set ups were used for the internal structural support and holding the weight of the barrels, Gray said.
The creatures even share some messages for staying safe on the road.
Safe-T-Rex roars with urgency as it stands by a sign that says, "Text + Drive = Extinct."
The slithering rattlesnake warns, "Don't strike! Obey Warning Signs."
Work Zone Willy reminds drivers to slow down while he holds a sign that says, "Slow, Slow."
Texas Travel Center employees said there hasn't been a lot of interaction with the creatures from travelers.
The artworks will be on display through May and then will be placed at various locations throughout TxDOT's six counties.
In El Paso there were 777 traffic crashes in work zones resulting in one fatality and nine serious injuries, a TxDOT news release stated.
"The rise in roadway fatalities over the last two years is staggering; and if we are going to make progress, we must all take responsibility to improve safety in everything that we do when it comes to our roadways," Marc Williams, TxDOT executive director, said. "Our collective efforts to shine light on work zone safety are urgent. Last year, 244 people died in work zone traffic crashes in Texas, up 33% from 2020, to include many drivers and passengers. We want everyone to get home safely."
The department of transportation released a list of five safety tips for driving in work zones:
Slow down. Follow the posted speed limit and adjust your driving to match road conditions.
Pay attention. Avoid distractions, keep your mind on the road and put your phone away.
Watch out for road crews. The only protective gear they wear is reflective clothing, a hardhat, and safety boots. Always follow flaggers’ instructions and be mindful of construction area road signs.
Don’t tailgate. Give yourself room to stop in a hurry, should you need to. Rear-end collisions are the most common kind of work zone crashes.
Allow extra time. Road construction can slow things down. Count on it, and plan for it.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: TxDOT maintenance workers create barrel art-work to promote road worker safety