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Region road work

A "right lane closed ahead" sign is shown recently along Calumet Avenue in Munster. 

Slow down, leave earlier and watch your temper.

Drivers should observe these key mantras as they travel into the spring and summer construction seasons.

But municipal, county and state transportation planners also should also be mindful of when and where road construction occurs to ease the traffic burden on an entire Region.

Reports have been flowing in recent weeks of a number of spring and summer road projects planned for major Region thoroughfares.

Months-long ramp closures on Interstate 65 at 109th Avenue in Crown Point, continuous work on Calumet Avenue in Munster and a host of other projects will have Region roads snarled in short order. Many of the traffic headaches already are underway.

The most important thing for drivers to consider is safety.

Know your routes and plan ahead, leaving early to avoid a dangerous rush through work zones that threaten multiple lives.

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And when you feel the urge toward irritation, remember the poor road conditions that have so long characterized Hoosier transportation infrastructure.

Would you rather be slamming through potholes or traversing roads that are too narrow for the traffic they carry?

Traffic cones, lane closures and work zones are a sign your tax dollars are being put to work to address festering road shortcomings.

It's also a fair point that the agencies planning and executing the road improvements do so in a fashion that alleviates as many traffic headaches as possible.

Sometimes we see heavy equipment shutting down lanes on already congested roadways when it could be stationed in the easement — and out of the flow of traffic — to perform shoulder work.

Too often, night roadwork is an option overlooked on major local thoroughfares. Whenever possible, night crews should be used at times when a glut of drivers aren't traversing the crossroads of America that is Northwest Indiana.

Patience and common sense on every level should rule these spring and summer days of construction.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.