Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Coordinating Road Projects

Benefits of Project Coordination

  • In Oregon, corridor-level transportation management plans ensure that at least one major north-south corridor and one major east-west corridor are left unrestricted for freight and passenger travel at all times.
  • San Francisco was able to reduce street cuts by 27 percent by coordinating ROW projects.

Cities and regions around the country are recognizing benefits from coordinating projects between transportation agencies, utilities, and other agencies that may need to do construction in the public right-of-way. These benefits include significant cost savings, earlier identification of project impacts and greater ability to reduce and manage traffic disruptions from road work, and better quality road surfaces. Better coordination of projects can be "win-win" for public agencies, road users, and citizens by reducing the need for additional work zones.

Project coordination can be accomplished using different methods and scopes. Coordination may be done within a single urban area, across a corridor, for a whole State, or across a region that includes neighboring States or even countries. Coordination methods include establishing a formal organization that spearheads coordination across a geographic area; using software or mapping to organize project data entered by various agencies so schedules can be coordinated; having coordination meetings to discuss next season's projects or upcoming lane closures; or jointly establishing performance goals for a corridor and working together to monitor and meet them.

Several examples of how cities and regions have coordinated projects and the associated benefits are highlighted below.

Webinar on Work Zone Project Coordination - Held on September 24, 2012

  • Recording
  • Transcript (HTML, PDF 101KB)
  • Great Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition Presentation, by Bobbi Welke, Michigan DOT and Peter Rafferty, University of Wisconsin Madison (HTML, PDF 3.3MB)
  • New York City Presentation, by John Speroni, New York City DOT (HTML, PDF 650KB)
  • Oregon Presentation, by Tony Coleman, Oregon DOT (HTML, PDF 4.6MB)

Coordination of Projects in the Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition (GLRTOC ) was founded in 2009 with the mission to improve cross-regional transportation operations in support of regional economic competitiveness and improved quality of life. The member agencies extend from Minnesota through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ontario. To date, this has been a volunteer effort with only donated resources. Early in the coalition's efforts, two demonstration corridors were identified, representing the approximately 1,000-mile trip between Minneapolis on the west and Toronto on the east. The southern route (I-94, Highway 401, and associated routes) emphasizes work zone coordination and metropolitan issues, while the northern route (US 2, Highway 17-400, and associated routes) emphasizes winter operations and rural issues. Key elements of their work zone efforts are an annual work zone preview, an online map, and corridor performance monitoring. In 2012, GLRTOC was awarded funds through the USDOT Multi-State Corridor Operations and Management to improve center-to-center communications and expand traveler information services across the region, and for additional work zone collaboration, coordination, and monitoring. The work zone effort entails: 1) resource support for the annual work zone preview; 2) major changes to the work zone mapping application; and 3) multiagency work zone performance monitoring. Read more…

Work Zone Coordination in Washington State

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) facilitates a collaborative, multi-agency construction traffic planning effort focused on communication and coordination amongst projects and agencies in the state. These coordination efforts include long-term, mid-term, and short-term information sharing, supported by tools developed by WSDOT. Read more…

Coordination of Roadway Projects in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Region

The New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region is the most highly populated and one of the most highly congested areas in the country. The region's geography (e.g., numerous river crossings), a significant use of transit, and its complex jurisdictional structure (i.e., numerous agencies responsible for operating the network, often in close proximity over short distances) makes coordination and information sharing essential, especially when it comes to multiple concurrent roadway construction projects. The various transportation agencies within the region have long recognized this need. While each transportation agency makes its own efforts to coordinate construction projects within their own jurisdiction, they also coordinate across state boundaries through a coalition of 16 transportation and public safety agencies from all three states, known as the Transportation Operations Coordinating Committee (TRANSCOM). Read More…

Baltimore, MD Usage of a Software-Based System to Coordinate Right-of-Way Activities and Reduce Impacts

Faced with a growing list of proposed infrastructure improvement projects owned by various stakeholder groups across the city, Baltimore, Maryland's engineering staff recognized a need to better coordinate activities that affect the public right-of-way (ROW) in order to reduce impacts to drivers. To implement better coordination and communication, the City of Baltimore implemented a software-based project coordination system to track all capital and maintenance activities. Read More…

New York City DOT Initiative to Better Coordinate Road Construction Projects

In October 2011, the New York City (NYC) DOT unveiled an online mapping system, a guidance manual, and incentives to help improve coordination among utility companies, contractors, and agencies to minimize the number of times streets are dug up, reduce construction congestion, and extend the life of resurfacing projects. An executed agreement between NYC DOT and major utility companies provides for the monthly sharing of data regarding:

  • All active NYC DOT street excavation permits.
  • NYC DOT's list of "protected streets" (recently repaved/reconstructed streets that have a higher permitting fee and stricter restoration requirements if disturbed).
  • NYC DOT's roadway resurfacing schedule, short-term utility excavation needs, and long-term utility project schedules.

This information is shared via the city's public online map portal, NYCityMap, enabling utility companies or any other entity that performs street excavation work to find details on NYC DOT projects included in the city's 10-year Capital Budget, as well as more imminent NYC DOT and New York City Department of Environmental Protection capital projects currently in design or under construction. The Street Works Manual provides guidance on use of the mapping portal, as well as other processes and tools to further enhance advance planning and coordination of street work. It also provides information on construction permitting processes and increased monetary penalties for permit violations, intended to reduce the incidence of street work undertaken without permits, provide a stronger incentive for collaboration and coordination between city government and private sector stakeholders that engage in work on city streets, and better facilitate public mobility and safety.

Oregon DOT Corridor-Level Transportation Management Plans

During an unprecedented period of construction in Oregon to repair or replace hundreds of bridges, pave and maintain city and county roads, improve and expand interchanges, add new highway capacity, and remove freight bottlenecks statewide, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) realized it needed to keep traffic and freight moving. To address traffic impacts of the construction in a cost-effective and timely manner, with minimal interference to the traveling public, ODOT is focusing on identifying and addressing mobility issues prior to and during design and through the development and implementation of program-level, corridor-level, and project-level traffic management plans (TMPs). Corridor-Level TMPs were developed for specific key freight and travel routes and address corridor management (including communication, coordination, and implementation), bridge construction scheduling and staging, and work zone traffic operations strategies at the corridor level to help coordinate efforts across all the projects in a corridor. Read More…

Pennsylvania DOT Coordination with Pittsburgh Municipalities and Utility Companies

A September 2009 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled, "Computer program maps construction projects on Internet", describes how web-based coordination technology will enable the county, Pennsylvania DOT, municipalities, and utility companies to easily exchange information and coordinate construction and maintenance projects via the Internet, reducing costs and lessening impacts on neighborhoods and commuters.

Project Coordination in Providence, Rhode Island

A November 2008 article in Water & Wastes Digest magazine, entitled, "Project Coordination in the Right of Way", describes how coordination software was used to successfully coordinate the replacement of 1,800 water service lines annually with numerous concurrent municipal roadway projects in Providence, Rhode Island.

Additional Resources

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