Krebs asks public to obey construction rules | Worker hit in head with water bottle

Sheriff Ron Krebs is asking the public to respect the county’s construction project in Prune Alley after receiving reports of unruly citizens ignoring safety precautions.

“People have been driving down the roads illegally, crossing barriers and parking in the construction site and someone threw a water bottle at one of the workers and hit him in the hard hat,” Krebs said.

The county’s long-awaited improvements to Prune Alley began in March. Mike Carlson Construction is handling the project, which has resulted in road closures, traffic re-direction and limited parking options in town. Road barricades and safety fencing has been erected to keep pedestrians and vehicles out while dangerous construction is underway. The work is slated to be completed by September.

Construction zones fall under strict regulations and Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. Krebs hopes the Orcas community can be respectful of the work zone in order to keep themselves and the workers safe. Failure to do so may result in an infraction for RCW 46.61.050 failure to obey traffic control devices.

“There is heavy machinery being operated and we don’t want someone to get hurt,” Krebs said. “We could start writing tickets but we don’t want to. So I am trying to appeal to people’s good nature. Plus, every time someone is in there (the construction zone), they have to stop and remove them, which takes time. We don’t want this project to be any longer than it is.”