To help States evaluate their work zone practices, and to help assess work zone practices nationally, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed the Work Zone Mobility and Safety Self Assessment (WZ SA) tool. The WZ SA tool consists of a set of 46 questions designed to assist those with work zone management responsibilities in assessing their programs, policies, and procedures against many of the good work zone practices in use today. The policies, strategies, processes, and tools identified in the WZ SA were gathered from the best practices currently in place in State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations, and local municipalities. Many of the items can be found in the Work Zone Best Practices Guidebook (available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/workzones).
The WZ SA helps FHWA Division Offices work with their State partners to:
- Assess their past work zone activities
- Identify actions and priority areas for improvement as appropriate for a given State
- Establish a baseline of their state of the practice and monitor changes over time
- Gain information that States can use as part of their inputs when they perform the process reviews that are required by the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/final_rule.htm).
At the National level, the WZ SA serves several important roles. It:
- Helps raise the level of awareness of practices and strategies used in mitigating work zone congestion and crashes
- Facilitates communication and sharing of best practices among transportation professionals
- Provides an opportunity to benchmark progress in work zone management at the National level
- Helps FHWA identify work zone congestion and safety management strategies that need more investigation and evaluation
- Helps FHWA identify areas where there is a need for additional training and guidance
- Assists in identifying States that are on the "leading edge" in a particular area and may be well-suited to share their experiences through case studies, as part of scanning tours or workshops, or as peers in the WZ Peer-to-Peer Program (http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/p2p/index.htm).