Crews remove 450 needles from Business 40 construction site

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Business 40 work zone is a dangerous one; and people are doing dangerous things inside it.

As construction began on the long-awaited project, crews began coming across drug paraphernalia. Pipes, spoons and needles were all found -- so many needles, that the crew had to call in police and the NCDOT to help clean them up.

“That resulted in the removal of close to 450 needles from that area,” said David Davis, safety manager for Flatiron Construction, referring to one portion of the project site.

Although there are pockets where most of the needles have been found, Davis says they have seen them across the entire project area.

“We found a lot of paraphernalia here,” he said, speaking of the Green Street Bridge. “We found a lot of paraphernalia under the bridge that was going across Liberty Street.”

Larger amounts of needles were also found near the Peters Creek Bridge. Others were found away from the main portion of the project, near Cherry and Eighth streets, which is directly next to the Public Safety Center.

Last week, a cleanup crew had to be called in after workers discovered paraphernalia and blood inside one of their excavators, Davis said.

“We’ve found a lot of knives out here and under the bridges we’ve found a lot of makeshift weapons,” he added.

People have also been coming into the work zone both on foot and in vehicles.

At least seven people have driven into the work zone, including a driver in a pickup truck on Tuesday, which was documented by FOX8 cameras.

“Out here, we run the gamut of safety hazards,” Davis said.

Last week, workers had to stop a young lady walking with two children who were trying to cross over one of the barricades to walk across a bridge that had recently been demolished.

“Despite us having no trespassing signs up and fall hazard signs up,” Davis said.

The NCDOT plans to continue to educate the public about the dangers of the work zone through their website and the Business 40 Improvements Facebook page.

“We want to protect the public,” Davis said. “We want to protect ourselves.”

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