I grew up here.

Posted: April 24, 2017
Last modified: December 26, 2018

Joe Thrower
Maintenance of Traffic Superintendent II
Resides: St. Cloud

For Joe Thrower, getting things right on the I-4 Ultimate project is personal.

The Maintenance of Traffic Coordinator often thinks about relatives and neighbors while helping to plan and carry out lane shifts and ramp closures on Interstate 4 (I-4).

“I grew up here,” Thrower said. “I know how difficult I-4 can be to travel. I have a lot of friends and family who drive it.”

It’s his job to help make sure that electronic message signs, striping, pavement reflectors, temporary barrier walls and other changes are done just right so construction can proceed safely off to the side while traffic flows smoothly past.

Though urging caution for everyone near a work zone, Thrower often puts himself in the role of a driver – those friends and family he worries about – when considering how temporary changes may look from a motorist’s point of view.

Thrower brings nearly three decades of road construction experience to the job, including more than 20 with the Osceola County road and bridge department. “I started out pushing a shovel for them and eventually became a senior roadway inspector.” He joined the I-4 Ultimate project for the challenge and now works for SGL – the construction joint venture of Skanska, Granite and Lane.

Thrower has found that some of the smaller, temporary changes – lanes that jog a few feet to the left or right – can be the most complex. They often have many moving parts inside a small space on a tight deadline. That may mean several trucks operating nearby while crews work overnight to have lane shifts ready before the morning rush.

“A project of this size is a major challenge,” Thrower said. “But it’s a challenge I look forward to doing every day.”

Having spent most of his life in St. Cloud, Thrower is proud to be part of a project to make I-4 safer and more efficient for motorists, family and friends. “It’s good to know we’ll have the road ready for their future. I love that.”