Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

Work Zone Process Reviews - Overview

slide 1: Work Zone Process Reviews – Overview

Tracy Scriba
FHWA Office of Operations

Quarterly Work Zone Webinar

October 31, 2011

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slide 2: Section 630.1008 of Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule

  • Requires agencies to conduct a process review at least every 2 years to assess the effectiveness of work zone safety and mobility procedures
  • Results should be used to:
    • Improve work zone processes and procedures, data/information resources, and training
    • Enhance efforts to address safety and mobility on current and future projects

slide 3: Section 630.1008 of Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (cont'd)

  • Process review:
    • May include evaluation of WZ data at the State level, and/or review of randomly selected projects throughout jurisdictions
    • Should be done using a multi-disciplinary team and in partnership with FHWA

Updated Rule is more comprehensive so...

Reviews need to be more comprehensive than before

speaker notes:

A process review is an opportunity for an agency to take a step back and look at how the agency's work zone management is performing on a systemwide basis.

Periodic evaluation of an agency's work zone policies and procedures, and the work zone impacts of road projects, helps an agency identify, address, and manage the safety and mobility impacts of work zones.

Process reviews help assess the effectiveness of a work zone program and/or a set of policies and procedures.

The reviews enable the agency and respective FHWA Division Office to confirm that a problem does not exist, to identify systemic problems, to make recommendations to improve situations where shortcomings do exist, and to identify best practices.

slide 4: Process Review – What It's Not

  • Not a compliance review for traffic control plans – although it may consider/include the results of field/traffic control reviews
  • Not a training program – although it may include a review of the agency's WZ training program
  • Not the WZ Self Assessment – although it should make use of the WZ SA results from recent years to avoid "plowing the same ground" again
  • Not a review of crash data – although the agency should use available operational and safety data as part of its process review

speaker notes:

Traffic control reviews – However, note that work zone traffic control reviews can be a rich source of information to make use of in conducting a work zone process review. Work zone traffic control reviews are important and useful for making work zone improvements, however they do not cover all the areas that a process review should cover.

WZ Self Assessment – Note that an agency may find it beneficial to conduct its WZSA as part of its process review every two years.

slide 5: Process Review – What It Is

  • Program level evaluation of work zone operations and management
    • Policies
    • Practices and procedures
    • Outcomes – crash data, mobility impacts
  • Helps assess effectiveness of a program or a set of practices and procedures
  • Includes looking at individual projects as examples/case studies of how things are working

slide 6: Process Review – What It Is

  • Allows Agency and Division Office to:
    • Identify good practices and successes for broader application
    • Make recommendations to improve situations where a problem might exist
    • Adjust policies or practices to improve ease-of-use or performance
    • Identify areas for future training

slide 7: Scope of Review

  • What should a review cover?
    • State's WZ policy and processes
      • Significant Project identification
      • Impact analysis & Lane closure policies
      • TMP development
    • WZ data – both safety and operational
    • Field implementation:
      • Traffic control
      • Queue/mobility management
      • Inspection frequency & documentation
    • Training

slide 8: Consider More In-depth Focus on One Area

  • Enables deeper analysis
  • Examples:
    • One area that is not working well
    • Delays in project/program development – one component is a concern
    • Increased complaints
    • New process introduced into mix
    • Policy revised since last review

slide 9: Review Approaches Used

  • Field review of projects combined with one or more of the following:
    • Review of WZSA results
    • Questionnaire of staff across project delivery
    • Interviews of staff across project delivery
    • Review of policies and procedures
    • Review of crash data
  • In-depth interviews of personnel from several Districts

slide 10: Review Approaches Used (cont.)

  • Review of set of select topics at both project and program level:
    • Project – TMP documentation, RE TMP interviews, site manager data (safety and operational), project crash reviews
    • Program – Overall crash data, training
  • Case study – Selected 2 projects and reviewed them across the full project development process (note: a larger sample is recommended)

slide 11: Review Approaches Used (cont.)

  • Correlation of strategies to results
    • Assessment of what TMP strategies were used on 21 projects
    • Assessment of crash data for the 21 projects
    • WZ traffic control QA inspections for 15 of these projects
    • Cross-comparison amongst the 3 sources to identify correlations

slide 12: Work Zone Process Review Toolbox

Screenshot of the FHWA Office of Safety's Process Review Toolbox web page.

slide 13: Sample set of questions in toolbox

  • Overall Work Zone Policy Implementation
  • Impacts Assessment
  • Use of Work Zone Data
  • WZ Training Process Review Questions
  • Significant Projects

slide 14: Sample set of questions in toolbox

  • TMPs
  • Traffic Control Component of TMPs
  • Transportation Operations Component of TMPs
  • Public Information Component of TMPs

slide 15: Why Reviews are Important

  • Provide a read on the state of work zones – in the State and Nationally
  • Point to where improvements or adjustments are needed
  • Highlight successes for broader implementation
  • Means of oversight
    • For States
    • For FHWA
  • Regulatory requirement

speaker notes:

  • Process reviews are part of oversight
  • Ongoing oversight includes:
    • Process reviews – National and State level
    • Project oversight – State and Local level
    • Data (primarily safety) – National and State level
    • Self Assessment – National and State level

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