Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Best Practice Category Descriptions

Select a category title below to see a list of the practices in that category, or view all practices.

A – Policy and Procedures

Best practices in this section encourage customer driven comprehensive work zone traffic management policies that focus on reducing the exposure of the road user and worker. Policies and practices include high-quality design, construction, and maintenance operations, minimizing disruption to the highway user and maintaining a safe, efficient roadway environment for the traveling public and the highway worker.

B – Public Relations, Education, and Outreach (General Public, Driver, and Elected Officials)

Public relations, education, and outreach are activities performed to inform, notify, and educate the general public about work zone activities, safety, and impact mitigation. Best practices in this section help keep the driving community and elected officials informed, involved, and sensitive to the highway worker and work site safety needs. These practices emphasize strategies to provide detailed project information to the public including type of work being completed, expected duration, delay, and strategies to avoid delay.

C – Prediction Modeling and Impact Analysis: Congestion and Crashes

Prediction modeling and impact analysis includes mathematical equations, software, and analysis used to estimate the impact of work zones prior to and during implementation. Best practices in this section encourage the use of prediction/analysis tools which are user-friendly and readily adapted to the local construction site and situation. These tools enable accurately analysis and reliable prediction of congestion situations including travel times, queue length, travel speed, total delay, crash rates, severity levels, and interactive feedback to both the design and construction team.

D – Planning and Programming

Planning and programming involves defining a issues and opportunities, evaluating alternative solutions, gathering public input, and deciding when projects should be funded or programmed within existing budgetary constraints. These best practices emphasize a corridor approach to evaluating, planning, and programming. State DOTs are encouraged to give full consideration to long-range corridor needs, traffic demands, road-user costs, and potential business community impacts, use of extended designs and high-performance materials, and overall evaluation of total costs for the life of the improvement.

E – Project Development/Design

Project development and design entails developing alternatives and selecting the preferred design that minimizes present and future exposure to road users and workers. Best practices in this area encourage assessing motorist delay, road user and worker safety, and impacts to adjacent communities on all major urban and other high-volume corridors.

F – Contracting and Bidding Procedures

Contracting and bidding includes developing effective contracts and obtaining appropriate financial bids for reconstruction efforts. Best practices in this section emphasize the application of contracting and bidding procedures to reward contractors for quality work, innovation, accelerated early completions, minimizing motorist delays, and enhancing the safety of road-users and workers.

G – Construction/Maintenance Materials, Methods, Practices, and Specifications

Construction/maintenance materials, methods, and specifications includes practices related to construction techniques, innovative materials, and specifications established to improve quality and product life spans. These best practices encourage a maintained level of service and safety in the work zone.

H – Traveler and Traffic Information (Project Related)

Traveler and traffic information includes methods, technologies, and equipment to identify work zone traffic conditions and properly inform the traveling public. These best practices emphasize the provision of accurate real-time work zone (construction/maintenance/utility operations) information to road users in a sufficient time that engenders informed travel decisions.

I – Enforcement

Enforcement includes activities undertaken by law enforcement officers to enforce laws and encourage safe conditions in work zones. These best practices involve using work zone trained and qualified, full-time uniformed police officers that are readily available for construction and maintenance operations.

J – ITS and Innovative Technology

These best practices utilize ITS systems to automatically collect and analyze before, during, and after traffic flows in the work zone; provide accurate real-time information automatically to motorists and to the construction team; enforce speed; as well as safely guide motorists through the work zone.

K – Evaluation and Feedback

These best practices emphasize methods to collect and evaluate work zone data and feedback from motorists and others. Performance measures for work zone congestion/delay and safety can be used to evaluate how well agencies are meeting performance goals for mobility and safety in work zones. Encouraged are best practices that emphasize the electronic collection of work zone crash data, since this enables an agency to use automated processes to analyze the data for trends and to produce reports that can be periodically furnished to appropriate DOT offices (including, but not limited to, design and construction project personnel). Through mechanisms such as surveys, meetings, and project hotlines, motorists provide perspectives on how well their demands for mobility and safety in work zones are being met.

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