E3−2: Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan
Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) implemented a comprehensive traffic management plan for the reduction of traffic delays and for providing emergency vehicles access. A team composed of MDOT, FHWA, contractors, and local authorities covering police, fire, emergency medical, and road services were responsible for the plans and provisions for the access to incident sites for emergency vehicle personnel and other necessary personnel for all stages of construction. This team approach was used to reduce traffic delay and decrease the emergency response time. Practices adopted included contractor supplied service patrols, using a professional advertising agency to keep the public informed of construction activities, using emergency medical services, establishing continuous police presence, establishing a staging area, using portable changeable message signs, establishing a "hotline," and establishing a detour and alternate route signing. Some of these practices have been incorporated by MDOT for use on other projects.
REASON(S) FOR ADOPTING:
The I−55/I−20 interchange handles over 100,000 vehicles a day and is the major East−West and North−South route through the State and the City of Jackson. The innovative practices for reducing delays and improving emergency response time were considered vital for increasing safety.
There were significant reductions in traffic delays for the traveling public and emergency response time was decreased. The use of radio, TV, and facsimiles to inform the traveling public of upcoming road closures and delays greatly enhanced the public perception of the construction project and MDOT as a whole. By keeping the public involved and informed of the status of construction activities, a good working relationship developed between the Department, contractors, and the public. The public was much more willing to tolerate delays and soon began to find alternate routes without complaining. Safety was also seen to increase.
MOST APPLICABLE LOCATION(S)/PROJECT(S):
This practice is applicable where the traffic demand and public perception would warrant its use. Any type of construction activity on a high−speed roadway or major roadway with high volumes of traffic could implement this practice.
STATE(S) WHERE UTILIZED:
Brad Lewis, Assistant State Construction Engineer, Mississippi DOT
Telephone: (601) 359−7323