EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Transportation and law enforcement officials gathered underneath the Bob Michel Bridge, next to the East Peoria Embassy Suites, to discuss National Work Zone Awareness week.

This year’s message is to remind drivers of how vital their role is to ensure safety in work zones for themselves and road workers.

Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois program is in full swing, so there are plenty of construction projects planned this season.

Kensil Garnett, Deputy Director and Region 3 Engineer, talked about why the press conference was held for this week.

“With the increase in funding, we have a lot more jobs, so there’s a lot of construction zones out there, we just want people to be made aware,” Garnett said.

Garnett also discussed the importance of paying attention when behind the wheel.

“We see a lot of work zone accidents, definitely from individuals not paying attention, not obeying signs, so we’d like to bring awareness to that every year at the beginning of construction season,” Garnett said.

Each year more than 6000 crashes happen in Illinois work zones on average, resulting in 1500 injuries.