PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced Thursday that it has received honors for its creative partnership with the Peoria Chiefs.

IDOT partnered with the Chiefs to call attention to work zone safety using the Orange Barrels mascot and promotion.

“At IDOT, we are constantly thinking about new ways we can join with the public to eliminate crashes, fatalities, and injuries,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts, which would not be possible without the support and creativity of the entire Peoria community and its hometown team.” 

Inspiration struck the Chiefs when construction was announced for the Murray Baker Bridge in 2020. The Chiefs created an alternate team name and logo in support of the construction workers: the Orange Barrels.

Prior to certain games, IDOT hosted a fair in front of the Chief’s Dozer Park to engage with fans to talk about the role that they can take to reach zero construction-related fatalities. During these games, the team hosted a scoreboard quiz on safety and a worker would throw out the first pitch.

The recognition IDOT received was from the American Association of State Highway Transportation. A group of fellow state departments of transportation on the Committee on Transportation Communication chose IDOT in the award category of public awareness events.