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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Regulation and Policy

traffic sign reading "Highway Workers - Give 'em a Brake"

Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (Subpart J)

The Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule was published in the Federal Register (69 FR 54562) on September 9, 2004 with an effective date of October 12, 2007. The Rule was updated to address the changing times of more traffic, more congestion, more work zones on existing roads carrying traffic, and safety issues. The Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule web page provides examples of Rule implementation and implementation guidance, including a work zone policy library providing examples of State Work Zone Safety and Mobility policies.

Temporary Traffic Control Devices Rule (Subpart K)

The Temporary Traffic Control Devices Rule was published in the Federal Register (72 FR 68480) on December 5, 2007 with an effective date of December 4, 2008. This rulemaking is in response to section 1110 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) and supplements FHWA's Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (Subpart J) to address conditions for the appropriate use of, and expenditure of funds for, uniformed law enforcement officers, positive protective measures between workers and motorized traffic, and installation and maintenance of temporary traffic control devices during construction, utility, and maintenance operations.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (HTML, PDF 23KB)
  • Webinar on the Temporary Traffic Control Devices Rule (video recording and presentation slides)
  • Work Zone Positive Protection Toolbox (PDF 683KB) - Describes the various types of positive protection devices currently in use, as well as provides guidance on where and how each device is typically used.
  • Payment for Temporary Traffic Control Devices - Describes good practices regarding payment methods for work zone traffic control.
  • 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.
  • Traffic Control Guidance - FHWA and State-developed resources
  • Final Rule (72 FR 68480) - Published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2007 (HTML, PDF 102KB)
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; extension of comment period (71 FR 75898) - Published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2006 (HTML, PDF 44KB)
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Request for Comments (71 FR 64173) - Published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2006 (HTML, PDF 92KB)

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all streets and highways. The MUTCD is published by FHWA under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. On December 16, 2009 a final rule adopting the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD was published in the Federal Register. States must comply with this rule within two years. The Federal Register notice, which provides detailed discussion of the FHWA's decisions on major changes from the 2003 edition, can be viewed at (PDF 716KB). One of the changes related to work zones was the incorporation of worker visibility requirements (previously under FHWA's Worker Visibility Rule 23 CFR Part 634) in Part 6, Section 6D.03, requiring all workers within the right of way of any public roadway to wear high visibility garments meeting the ANSI 107-2004 Class 2 or 3 standard.

High Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear Standard

In January 2010, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a revised edition of the standard, ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 (formerly ANSI/ISEA 107-2004). This standard provides a uniform, authoritative guide for the design, performance specifications, and use of high-visibility and reflective apparel including vests, jackets, bib/jumpsuit coveralls, trousers and harnesses. On May 20, 2010, FHWA issued an official interpretation that garments labeled as meeting ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 are in compliance with sections of the 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) covering workers, flaggers and adult crossing guards. The language in the MUTCD makes reference to the 2004 edition of the standard.

Work Zone Safety for Highway Construction Standard

ANSI/ASSE A10.47-2009: Work Zone Safety for Highway Construction became effective on February 24, 2010 and applies to workers engaged in construction, utility work, maintenance, or repair activities on any area of a highway. It covers practices including Flagger Safety, Runover/Backover Prevention, Equipment Operator Safety, Illumination, Personal Protective Equipment, and more.

Crashworthy Work Zone Traffic Control Devices

FHWA policy calls for the use of crashworthy channelizers, signs, barricades, barriers, etc., in work zones on the National Highway System.

Highway Traffic and Construction Noise Rule

On July 13, 2010, FHWA published the Revised Final Rule on 23 CFR 772, "Procedures for Abatement of Highway Traffic Noise and Construction Noise" (Federal Register 39820). The final rule became effective on July 13, 2011. The final rule clarified and added definitions, the applicability of the regulation, certain analysis requirements, and the use of Federal funds for noise abatement measures. It also required all state highway agencies to update their state noise policies accordingly. All 52 policies were successfully updated to meet the July 13, 2011 implementation date.

Advance Construction of Federal Aid Projects

On August 26, 2008, FHWA issued the Final Rule on Advance Construction of Federal Aid Projects (23 CFR Part 630) (PDF 55KB) with an effective date of September 25, 2008. This rule aims to increase state flexibility in spending federal-aid highway funds. Under advance construction procedures, a state may begin projects without a guarantee of federal funds but with federal approval of the project. The state may then later apply to have the project converted to federal aid funding. The rule eliminates the requirement that states reserve federal funds for advance construction projects, some of which might not end up using federal money. That flexibility frees states to use the federal money for other projects.

Special Experimental Project (SEP-15) - Innovative Approaches to Project Delivery

In 2004, FHWA created the Special Experimental Project (SEP-15) to identify, for trial evaluation, innovative public-private partnership approaches to project delivery. SEP-15 addresses, but is not limited to contracting, compliance with environmental requirements, right-of-way acquisition, and project finance. The goals of SEP-15 are to increase project delivery flexibility, encourage innovation, improve timely project construction, and promote public-private partnerships. State DOT projects approved for participation in SEP-15 may be granted flexibility in meeting FHWA's traditional project approval requirements.

National Highway Work Zone Safety Program

The National Highway Work Zone Safety Program (NHWZSP) was established in 1995 to enhance the safety and operational efficiency of highway work zones for highway users — motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists — and highway workers by improving the quality and effectiveness of traffic operations, safety appurtenances, traffic control devices, and maintenance of traffic bidding practices.

Transportation Operations, Management and ITS Legislation Tracking Database

The Transportation Operations, Management and ITS Legislation Tracking Database was developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in partnership with FHWA. The database includes executive orders and passed, pending and failed legislation from 2009 and 2010 that can be searched by state, topic, keyword, year, status, and/or primary sponsor. Topics relate to congestion management, traffic operations, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), demand management (including HOV and HOT lanes), work zones, and freight management and operations.

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