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MnDOT to honor fallen, injured transportation workers

A Houston man killed while working on a bridge in 1962 was finally honored this morning.

As part of Worker Memorial Day observances, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) District 6 in Rochester honored John Biever, a Houston man who was struck by a truck while working on a Minnesota Highway 16 bridge in 1962. He was 54.

Bievers’ name was also added this year to the permanent Worker Memorial at MnDOT’s headquarters in St. Paul.

Durin the next two weeks, MnDOT will honor transportation workers killed or injured on the job. Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed April 28 as Worker Memorial Day in Minnesota to recognize the risks and high price transportation workers have paid in the construction and maintenance of the state’s transportation system.

"We are honored that Mr. Biever’s family consented to the addition of his name on the memorial and that they will attend the Rochester event," MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said. "It certainly brings home the fact that lives are impacted forever when someone is taken from them so tragically."


Since 1960, 35 MnDOT workers and 15 contractors have been killed while working on the state highways.

"With more than 250 construction work zones under way this year, there are hundreds of men and women on the roads, working to improve our roads and bridges and make them safer for everybody," said Zelle. "We all need to do our part so all our workers return safely to their families at the end of the day."

The Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis will be lighted orange April 28-30 as part of the observance. MnDOT’s headquarters in St. Paul will also host a moment of silence on April 30 at 2 p.m. for the workers who were killed.

MnDOT, in conjunction with local unions, will also host special events in several locations to honor workers who were killed or injured on April 30:

• Mankato at 2151 Bassett Drive at 8:30 a.m.

• St. Paul, 244 E. Maryland Ave. at the Maryland Avenue Truck Station at 10 a.m.

MnDOT urges drivers to stay alert in work zones with lane shifts, closures, moving workers and vehicles; watch for signs, equipment and workers; minimize distractions; avoid tailgating; follow posted speed limits and directional signs; be patient; expect delays; and avoid lane changes while navigating work zones.

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