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Work Zone Awareness Week

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign, held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones across the country. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.

The national observance is coordinated through Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), in partnership with state Departments of Transportation.

Each year, NWZAW has a new theme and kickoff event in a host state. In addition to the national event, each state hosts their own events.


NWZAW Poster 2020

National Work Zone Awareness Week 2020 is April 20-24 with the theme "Safe Work Zones For All." The national kickoff event scheduled to be hosted by Michigan on Tuesday, April 21, was canceled in accordance with CDC guidelines regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Go Orange Day 2020 is Wednesday, April 22. All roadway safety professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety.


TDOT will observe NWZAW 2020* with several regional events including Go Orange Day.

Pictures and videos of state events will be TDOT social media channels.

Regional Barrel Display

TDOT is divided into four regions (Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Jackson) covering east, middle, and west Tennessee. During NWZAW, each region sets up a barrel display along a highly-traveled route, with each barrel representing a TDOT worker killed in the line of duty. In 2019, there were 112 barrels in each display.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, barrels were not displayed during NWZAW 2020.

Creature Contest

In 2017, TDOT workers in Region 3 were encouraged to participate in a Creature Contest for NWZAW. Since then, participation has extended to regions and district offices statewide. Each participating office constructs a “creature” using materials that are either past their useful life or will be re-used. The contest is a team-building exercise that allows workers to have an active role in NWZAW by helping raise awareness for work zone safety. Look for this year's creatures on TDOT social media! (Pictured: 2017 Creature Contest entries)

*In 2017, TDOT unveiled a statewide initiative and asked motorists to "Work with Us." NWZAW 2020 events will be focused on this initiative, with limited use of the national theme. To learn more about the ongoing safety campaign, click on "Work with Us" on the menu to the left.