Remembering Steve: Let's Bring National Work Zone Memorial to Kane County!

Remembering Steve: Let’s Bring National Work Zone Memorial to Kane County!

  • Editor’s Note: In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week and in memory of Kane County Division of Transportation worker Steve Chidester, KDOT and Kane County Connects is posting a series of articles this week to promote work zone safety and to show respect and remembrance for the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones across the country.

Eighteen names have been added to the National Work Zone Memorial this year, include that of Steve Chidester, the Kane County Division of Transportation road maintenance worker who lost his life when he was struck by a vehicle May 19 on Harter Road.

In remembrance of Chidester, KDOT officials have been conducting a week-long public service campaign during National Work Zone Awareness Week in hopes of preventing such a tragedy from ever happening again.

But KDOT’s efforts won’t end when Work Zone Safety Week is over. In fact, friends and co-workers are already beginning to work on the “next big thing” — an effort to bring the National Work Zone Memorial to Kane County.

“We would love to host the wall here in Kane County to respect and remember Steve,” KDOT Director Carl Schoedel said, “but also to help raise awareness of the issue and prevent such senseless loss of life in the future.”

The traveling National Work Zone Memorial honors lives lost in work zones to help make fatalities “real” to policy makers and driver. The memorial is a living tribute and travels to communities cross-country, year-round to raise public awareness of the need to respect and stay safe in America’s roadway work zones.

With a new design unveiled in February 2017, the memorial is highly sought. Officials are hoping to bring it to Kane County in June — ideally during the Swedish Days festival in Geneva so that it will have the greatest chance to be seen — and would be displayed in the auditorium of the Kane County Government Center’s Building A in Geneva.

The memorial presently is scheduled to be in Kane County from June 20 to June 23, but friends are still raising money for the memorial hosting fee of $1,500, which helps defray the costs of transporting the memorial across the country. Friends of Steve have started a “Bring Work Zone Memorial to Kane Co” GoFundMe page to raise money for the hosting fee.

Any additional contributions over $1,500 will be donated to the ATSSA Foundation and other non-profit organizations promoting Work Zone Safety and Prevention of Distracted Driving.

‘Embrace the Orange’

SOURCE: KDOT, the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation

Read the ‘Remembering Steve’ Work Zone Safety Series