Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
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Incident Management in Work Zones

Traffic capacity and shoulder/pullout areas are often restricted in work zones. Prompt detection and clearance of traffic incidents in work zones can help reduce secondary crashes and delay. Preparing a work zone traffic incident management plan and using strategies that improve detection, verification, response, and clearance of crashes, mechanical failures, and other incidents in work zones and on detour routes can benefit safety and mobility.


  • Traffic Incident Management in Construction and Maintenance Work Zones Primer - Addresses special considerations when managing traffic incidents within a work zone and describes traffic incident management techniques and strategies to consider for the transportation operations component of a transportation management plan (TMP).
  • Guidebook on Incident Management Planning in Work Zones (PDF 2.7MB) - Resource for engineers and construction managers who are interested in developing sound incident management plans for work zones.
  • Guidelines for Developing Traffic Incident Management Plans for Work Zones - Colorado DOT (CDOT) report that discusses best practices, existing CDOT traffic incident management (TIM) programs, and considerations and key components for developing and implementing TIM programs for work zones.
  • Simplified Guide to the Incident Command System for Transportation Professionals (HTML, PDF 2.2MB) - Introduces the Incident Command System and its organization and operations to stakeholders who may be called upon to provide expertise, assistance, or material during highway incidents.


  • "In Case of Fire: Technology Helps Clear a Path for First Responders" - Article in January 2011 issue of Roads & Bridges, Volume: 49 Number: 1, by Arthur Schurr, describing the successful use of an ITS-based Emergency Vehicle Conflict Warning System (EVCWS) during the replacement of the Brighton Road Bridge over I-376 near Pittsburgh, PA. The EVCWS enabled emergency vehicles to have quick access to the work zone and nearby areas by allowing them to avoid a detour and safely enter the road from the opposite direction using a siren-activated system to control changeable message signs to alert drivers that an emergency vehicle is about to cross the roadway.
  • Mainstreaming Incident Management in Design-Build: The T-REX Experience (PDF 143KB) - Paper that presents the planning process and the approaches used to work with multiple agencies and disciplines to develop the incident management program for the T-REX project in Denver, Colorado.
  • Work Zone Traffic and Incident Management System - Keeping Traffic Moving During Reconstruction of the Big I, a Major Interstate-Interstate Interchange in Albuquerque (HTML, PDF 127KB) - Describes how ITS was used during the Big I project to minimize capacity restrictions due to incidents by more quickly identifying incidents and determining an appropriate and effective response to clear the roadway.

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