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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Best Practice

BEST PRACTICE:

A1−9: Narrowing Lanes and/or Reinforcing Shoulders to Maintain the Existing Number of Travel Lanes

DESCRIPTION:

The travel lanes are narrowed and shoulder lanes are reinforced (if not built strong enough initially to support traffic) in order to maintain the same number of travel lanes during a work zone. Typically at least one lane is wider than the others and trucks are restricted to the wider lane(s).

REASON(S) FOR ADOPTING:

To maintain the overall number of travel lanes in a work zone to the number available for travel without a work zone. To better accommodate future maintenance needs by building or rebuilding shoulders to a higher strength.

PRIMARY BENEFIT(S):

Maintaining the same number of lanes helps minimize congestion. Reduced lane widths can have the effect of slowing motorists, increasing the rate of attention thereby improving safety.

MOST APPLICABLE LOCATION(S)/PROJECT(S):

All highways.

STATE(S) WHERE USED:

Federal Highways

SOURCE/CONTACT(S):

Methods and Procedures to Reduce Motorist Delay in European Work Zones
FHWA−PL−01−001
www.international.fhwa.dot.gov
October, 2000

Office of Operations