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Turnpike Info: 877-682-9433
 

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2018
Erin Courtney
513-2982
ecourtney@maineturnpike.com


Worker Safety Memorial Unveiled

Today the Maine Turnpike Authority unveiled a memorial dedicated to its employees whose lives were taken while in performance of their duties.

PORTLAND, Maine - Today the Maine Turnpike Authority unveiled a memorial dedicated to its employees whose lives were taken while in performance of their duties. The dedication ceremony took place at the MTA administration office on outer Congress Street where the memorial is located.  Attending the unveiling were family members of fallen MTA employees: Jeffrey Abbott, Glenn Dunlap, and Wallace Danforth.

MTA Chairman Daniel Wathen and MTA Board Member John Dority gave speeches ahead of the reveal.

At the ceremony MTA Executive Director Peter Mills spoke to the importance of the monument, “First, it serves as a permanent memorial to our employees who have fallen in the line of duty. Second, it reminds the public to be cautious while traveling on Maine’s roadways and to take special care when traveling near our employees, our contractors and our public safety officers who must so often work under conditions of risk as part of their daily lives.”

The monument was unveiled members of MTA Highway Maintenance who work at the Crosby yard located in South Portland; the yard where Jeffrey Abbott worked. 

The impetus for the memorial was the January 2017 death of Jeffrey Abbott, a seven-year MTA employee, who was killed in a work zone in the Portland area from a motor vehicle crash on the turnpike. The MTA concluded that it was important to honor all their fallen colleagues and to remind visitors to the MTA administrative building to drive safe. The purpose, design and placement of the memorial was the collaboration of many at the MTA--from highway maintenance employees and the MTA’s Safety Committee to MTA management and Board Members. 

The granite memorial, with a scenic etching of the turnpike, was built by Maine Memorial Company of South Portland. On the front, it reads, “In honor of MTA Workers whose lives were taken on the job and the loved ones they left behind.”  The rear simply states, “Safety is in your hands”.

In Maine, there are over 500 crashes in or near work zones every year, with an average of two fatalities per year. In 2017, the Maine Turnpike Authority had about 45 crashes in or near work zones, with one fatality.

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