Work Zone Traffic Management Guidance and Examples
- FHWA Traffic Management Resources
- Traffic Management Resources from States
- Congestion Mitigation Resources
- Developing and Implementing Transportation Management Plans for Work Zones (HTML, PDF 1.4MB) - Provides information about developing and implementing Transportation Management Plans (TMPs), including how and where a TMP fits into project delivery processes, possible components of a TMP, descriptions of work zone management strategies, and examples of how agencies are using TMPs.
- Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects (HTML, PDF 10 MB) - Presents a general approach for work zone impacts assessment and provides examples of how agencies are currently assessing and managing work zone impacts.
- Sample Transportation Management Plans and Templates - Provides samples, templates, and tips to help transportation agencies develop and implement their own TMPs. The links below include a link to the entire document, which includes the sample plans and templates, and links to the individual templates in editable Microsoft Word format so that agencies can fill in and tailor the templates to their projects.
- Developing Transportation Management Plans for Work Zones - This course provides guidance for developing effective transportation management plans (TMPs) for road projects. Topics discussed in this course include the purpose and content of a TMP, roles and responsibilities, work zone impacts assessment, selecting TMP strategies, and TMP implementation. This course is designed for self-paced learning. The training is modular and consists of slides with voiceover narration for guided, independent learning. The course includes exercises to apply the concepts learned throughout the course. Please have the Participant Workbook readily accessible while taking this course. Several of the modules refer to the Workbook for exercises and other information. Upon completion of each module, close the file and then select the next module you wish to take from the links below.
- Participant Workbook (HTML, PDF 4MB)
- Course Overview and Instructions (PDF 3MB)
- Module 1 - Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (PDF 7MB)
- Module 2 - TMP Basics (PDF 20MB)
- Module 3 - TMP Coordination (PDF 11MB)
- Module 4 - Work Zone Impacts Assessment (PDF 29MB)
- Module 5 - TMP Strategies (PDF 24MB)
- Module 6 - TMP Approval and Implementation (PDF 18MB)
- Course Wrap-up (PDF 5MB)
- To Lesson Work Zone Impacts: Try TMPs - Article in the September/October 2010 issue of FHWA Public Roads that describes how TMPs can help State DOTs identify and coordinate strategies to reduce crashes and congestion during construction projects.
- Transportation Management Plan (TMP) Examples - Includes TMP development resources and sample TMPs from several states.
- Treating Potential Back-of-Queue Safety Hazards (PDF 3.4MB) - Highlights methods to analyze work zone impacts and queue lengths and provides strategies to mitigate potential back-of-queue hazards.
- Speed Management Information Resources - This site contains a searchable collection of resources dealing with speed management topics/applications, including work zones.
- Use of Exposure Control Measures - Summarizes the various types of exposure control measures and discusses how each can improve the safety of workers and motorists in work zones.
- Assessing the Effectiveness of TMP Strategies (HTML, PDF 629 KB) - Findings of research to identify and assess the feasibility and usefulness of and possible approaches to assessing the effectiveness of TMP strategies.
Behavior Study of Merge Practices for Drivers at Work Zone Closures
This Midwest Transportation Consortium report (PDF 3MB) describes the findings of a study to identify which driver behaviors are the most detrimental to work zone traffic flow and safety during work zone lane closures. The report concludes with recommendations on traffic control techniques to prevent these behaviors, such as late merge to prevent queue jumpers and longitudinal rumble strips to discourage vehicles from straddling the closing and merging lanes.
NCHRP Synthesis 413: Techniques for Effective Highway Construction Projects in Congested Urban Areas
NCHRP Synthesis 413 (PDF 5.1MB) identifies strategies and successful practices used by transportation agencies to deal effectively with the challenges and impacts of construction projects in congested urban corridors. Includes a chapter dedicated to traffic management strategies.
Colorado Department of Transportation
The Colorado DOT Work Zone Speed Control Report (PDF 462KB) explores several methods to reduce the speed of traffic through work zones, including variable message signs, presence of law enforcement, and signing methods.
Michigan Department of State Police
The Michigan State Police Traffic Management Guide (PDF 71KB) assists law enforcement professionals in effectively managing local traffic problems and documenting the results.
New Jersey Department of Transportation
The New Jersey DOT (NJDOT) Traffic Mitigation Guidelines for Work Zone Safety and Mobility (PDF 1MB) provides guidance for consistent and comprehensive consideration of traffic mitigation strategies for NJDOT roadway reconstruction projects. The document lays out a process for integrating traffic management into project development, beginning with assessing the level of traffic mitigation needed for a project and estimating order of magnitude costs for traffic mitigation. It then provides guidelines for selecting traffic mitigation strategies, a description of the purpose and components of various traffic mitigation documents, and suggested measures and procedures for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of traffic mitigation strategies. The document includes tables that describe categories of traffic mitigation strategies for different project types and characteristics, and a flow chart that illustrates traffic mitigation steps by project development phase.
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada FAST Dashboard
The Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) Dashboard is Southern Nevada's freeway performance monitoring and management system. It enables the Nevada DOT to evaluate operational issues related to work zones, incidents, special events, and daily recurring congestion, and the effectiveness of activities to manage the impacts. It also enables the public to view real-time and historical travel time and performance information in a wide variety of user-selectable and user-customizable displays.
Ohio Department of Transportation
The Ohio DOT (ODOT) Traffic Management in Work Zones web page provides processes and resources for work zone traffic management, such as permitted lane closure times, a maintenance of traffic (MOT) alternatives analysis process, and sample documents.
In 2004, the Ohio DOT developed a process to monitor work zone crashes in near real-time. Ohio DOT obtains work zone crash reports in near real-time from local law enforcement and then inputs this information into a database that sorts crashes into one half mile segments for comparison to historical pre-construction average crash frequency. When ODOT finds abnormally high concentrations of crashes in a certain location after implementation of a work zone, ODOT performs a field visit to the construction area to look for causes and potential fixes. In 2004, ODOT developed a process to monitor work zone crashes in near real-time. ODOT obtains work zone crash reports from local law enforcement and inputs this information into a database that sorts crashes into one-half-mile segments for comparison to historical pre-construction average crash frequency. When abnormally high concentrations of crashes occur in a certain location after implementation of a work zone, ODOT performs a field visit to look for causes and potential fixes. Work Zone Crash Analysis and Traffic Management in Work Zones - the ODOT MOT Process (PPT 2.3MB), a presentation by David Holstein, P.E., ODOT State Traffic Engineer, further describes this process.
Oregon Department of Transportation
As a result of the 10-year, $3 billion Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA), a significant period of construction began in Oregon to repair/replace hundreds of bridges, pave and maintain city/county roads, improve/expand interchanges, add new capacity to highways, and remove freight bottlenecks. Keeping traffic and freight moving during this time was a priority, so the Oregon DOT (ODOT) instituted a statewide traffic mobility program to forecast, manage, and track potential mobility conflicts, resolve issues, and coordinate efforts. Key work zone related components of the program include:
- Minimizing construction-related vehicle delay through the establishment and enforcement of delay threshold limits in key highway corridors.
- Taking a more proactive approach by considering mobility constraints up front and designing for issues, detours, and mobility needs, rather than trying to accommodate them after design and right before bid.
- Developing a new methodology and online analysis tool for estimating and managing project and corridor work zone delays and used that to help design projects with acceptable impacts as much as possible.
- Developing and implementing Traffic Management Plans for the overall program, for key highway corridors, and for individual projects.
ODOT's Highway Mobility Operations Manual contains all of the mobility requirements for projects on Oregon highways. The manual spells out how traffic delays and size and weight restrictions will be addressed on a statewide basis, which in turn clarifies the requirements for each key corridor. Designers can then use this information to help create a tailored traffic management solution for any route. ODOT provided training to agency staff and stakeholders on the purpose and content of the manual.
- ODOT Statewide Traffic Mobility Web Site
- Oregon's Statewide Traffic Mobility Program (PPT 3.3MB) - Presentation given by Randall Thomas, ODOT Statewide Traffic Mobility Manager, during June 20, 2007 Talking Freight Seminar
- ODOT Traffic Control Plans Design Manual - Provides an organized collection of design standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures to be used in the development of a temporary traffic control plan.
- ODOT Traffic Control Plan Cost Estimator (XLS 2.0MB) - Spreadsheet to help assemble a traffic control plan cost estimate for an ODOT highway construction project and to help designers across Oregon organize and manage traffic control devices, quantities, and costs.
- ODOT Traffic Management Plans
- Maximizing Investments in Work Zone Safety in Oregon (PDF 1.7MB) - Examines methods for maximizing ODOT work zone safety investments in enforcement, traffic control, and public information. Includes a section on ODOT's current work zone traffic management procedures.
- Dynamic Work Zone Traffic Management (PDF 340KB) - May 2010 ITE Journal article that describes how the Oregon DOT is using smart work zone technology to increase safety, provide motorists with work zone delay and travel time information, and collect real-time traffic data for traffic management during construction.
New York State Department of Transportation
In September 2012, the Governor of New York initiated the 'Drivers First' initiative, a new approach to prioritize the convenience of motorists and ensure that disruptions are as minimal as possible to drivers at highway and bridge projects across the state. To kick off the initiative, the Governor directed the New York State DOT (NYSDOT) to adjust the construction schedule on the Twin Bridges repair project to ensure the bridge opens both lanes to traffic Sunday at noon, instead of early Monday morning and thereby reduce disruption and delays for drivers. In addition, the Governor has directed NYSDOT to undertake a thorough review of all state highway and bridge repair projects to ensure that disruptions are as minimal as possible to motorists. To ensure that future projects prioritize the convenience of New York drivers, the Governor has also directed NYSDOT to include in its primary criteria for awarding contracts a requirement that all construction schedules are designed to cause as few disruptions for motorists as possible.
North Carolina Department of Transportation
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is in the midst of a $125 million project to widen seven miles of heavily traveled I-85 in Charlotte from four lanes to eight. The design-build project, which began in the fall of 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2013, includes construction of two diverging diamond interchanges (DDIs) and associated "superstreet" improvements for interchanges with two major roadways. Due to the high volume of daily traffic traveling through the project area NCDOT was concerned about maintenance of traffic during construction and impacts to motorists. The project team has focused on preserving the safety of motorists, minimizing impacts to traffic operations while providing necessary access for construction equipment, and promoting an efficient construction process. To maintain traffic at its normal pattern during construction of the DDIs, the contractors used temporary pavement and wedging to maintain ramp ties. Once the DDIs are complete a short road closure will be required to shift traffic to the new pattern. To minimize the impacts of moving materials and equipment, the project team installed a temporary access bridge over I-85 with ramps to the median allowing access to the construction site and ease of access to the construction area by emergency-services personnel for incident response. Phase 1 of the project involves building new lanes on the median side; the temporary access bridge and median ramps are located near the center of the project so construction vehicles do not have to enter traffic to access the median area. Phase 2 of the project includes mainline construction; northbound and southbound traffic will be placed on the newly constructed median lanes while construction progresses on the outer portions of I-85. During Phase 2, the median access ramp will be removed, but the temporary bridge will remain to provide construction access to the northbound lanes, while southbound access will be made directly from the material staging yard. As a result of these innovative maintenance of traffic strategies, there has been limited impact to the approximately 140,000 vehicles travelling through the work area each day.
- "Road Construction: Outer Space – Widening on I-85 to Accommodate Increased Demand" - article in September 2012 issue of Roads & Bridges
- I-85 Charlotte Project Web Site
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
In 2002, the Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) began a major reconstruction project on the I-279 Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnel in the city of Pittsburgh. With heavy traffic on the bridge and tunnel, closing the structures and detouring motorists would not be easy. PennDOT studied how best to complete the work and began planning detour routes in the early 1980s, well before the project began. PennDOT decided to perform various stages of the project separately in an effort to minimize the impact a total closure would have on the region. The last phase of the project involved work on the main bridge span and the tunnel. Closing off the main span of the bridge and the tunnel required the use of two main detour routes that already carried large volumes of traffic. With this in mind, PennDOT began reconstruction and rehabilitation work on the detour routes almost 10 years before the closures occurred. During the closures, PennDOT implemented many innovative strategies to reduce congestion and delay on the detour routes, including turning off traffic signals to create free-flow routes, expanding lane reversal hours, and opening a hole through an existing concrete barrier to prevent motorists from having to merge into a single lane when exiting a tunnel. An article published in the December 2007 issue of Roads & Bridges, "Holding Down the Fort," by Frank Cippel, provides more information.
Utah Department of Transportation
The I-15 CORE project is the largest road construction project in Utah history and involves rebuilding 24 miles of I-15 in Utah County over 2.5 years, with completion expected in December 2012. UDOT has placed high emphasis on minimizing impacts to the traveling public, understanding that I-15 is the only freeway system in the county. In order to minimize delays for local motorists, UDOT worked with contractors to develop an innovative approach to provide real time arterial traffic information during the project. This involved installing a monitoring system along nearby arterial routes, which uses anonymous vehicle data obtained from travel time detectors to measure actual traffic flow conditions. UDOT's Traffic Operations Center collects and analyzes the data, then updates and displays current travel time information every six minutes on variable message signs along the I-15 corridor and the I-15 CORE web site to provide motorists with current information comparing local road travel times versus freeway travel times. Motorists are directed to take the least congested routes – either I-15 or the state road US-89, leading to a reduction in delays, stops, emissions, and the number and severity of traffic incidents. The intent is to leave this system in place even after construction is complete.
- "Innovative Traffic Information System" - Article in May 31, 2011 issue of ITS International
- "New Signs Help Drivers Find Best Route from Provo to Lehi" - Article in November 4, 2010 issue of the Daily Herald
- I-15 CORE Project Web Site
- Reducing Congestion - Good Work Zone Management Strategies that Can Help - Presentations given at the February 17, 2005 Talking Operations Seminar.
- Traffic Congestion and Reliability - Linking Solutions to Problems - Provides a snapshot of traffic congestion and its sources in the United States, highlights the growing importance of system reliability, and recommends ways to address congestion.
- FHWA Focus on Congestion Relief Web Site
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