Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

4.0 Implementing Agency-Level Processes and Procedures

The updated Rule (the Rule) advocates a systematic approach for managing work zone safety and mobility, and has three main elements – the policy, process, and project elements. While the policy element of the Rule helps State and local transportation agencies [1] implement an overall work zone safety and mobility policy, the process element consists of agency-level processes and procedures that help agencies apply and sustain their respective work zone policies. Agency processes and procedures help institutionalize, streamline, and standardize work zone safety and mobility practices that support decision-making during the different stages of program and project delivery.

The Rule specifically addresses agency processes and procedures for:

  • Work zone assessment and management.
  • Use of work zone data.
  • Work zone related training.
  • Conducting process reviews.

Many agencies already have some work zone processes and procedures in-place. The provisions in the Rule are intended to help agencies update and enhance their existing processes and procedures to incorporate the new concepts and principles advocated by the Rule. For example, developing transportation management plans (TMPs) for road projects is a new requirement that some agencies may not be familiar with. Therefore, their work zone management processes and procedures may need to be expanded to address TMP development and incorporate the consideration of all the TMP components, including transportation operations (TO) and public information (PI) strategies, in their plans and programs. (Section 6.0 contains information on TMPs.) Agencies may choose to incorporate the processes and procedures in their overall work zone safety and mobility policy or consider them as an extension of the policy.

The following sections provide an overview and general guidance on implementing agency processes and procedures.

4.1 Work Zone Assessment and Management Procedures

4.1.1 Related Provisions in the Rule

The provision that addresses procedures for work zone assessment and management is provided in Section 630.1008(b) of the Rule. This provision:

  • Encourages agencies to develop and implement procedures to assess work zone impacts in project development, and to manage safety and mobility during project implementation.
  • Requires that the scope of the work zone assessment and management procedures be based on the characteristics of projects or project-classes. This aspect of the provision is intended to account for the variation that exists in project types, characteristics, and complexity.

4.1.2 Why Work Zone Assessment and Management Procedures?

The Rule brings about a new focus and new requirements to address work zone safety and mobility impacts. An important aspect of the Rule is that it advocates (1) the comprehensive and systematic consideration of the broader safety and mobility impacts of work zones through a project's life cycle; and (2) the development and implementation of appropriate management strategies that help manage these impacts. Agency work zone assessment and management procedures are intended to guide these efforts

Work zone assessment and management procedures can provide a framework within existing project development processes to help agencies:

  • Identify and understand the work zone safety and mobility impacts of road projects, starting at the policy level, through systems planning, and project development.
  • Understand the work zone safety and mobility implications of alternative project options and design strategies.
  • Identify significant projects (discussed in Section 5) and better allocate work zone management resources to those projects likely to have greater work zone impacts.
  • Identify transportation management strategies to manage the expected work zone impacts of a project.
  • Estimate costs and allocate appropriate resources for the implementation of the work zone management strategies.
  • Implement the strategies and monitor and manage work zone impacts during construction, maintenance, or utility work, and adjust the TMP if needed.
  • Conduct post-construction work zone performance assessment for assessing the performance of work zones and to improve work zone policies, practices, and procedures.

The information provided here and in the other guidance documents is intended to assist agencies in developing and implementing their own procedures that best suit their needs.

4.1.3 Considerations for Implementing Work Zone Assessment and Management Procedures

Many agencies have some existing guidance and procedures for work zone impacts assessment and management. As agencies review these existing procedures, they may identify the need to revise and update them to incorporate the new concepts advocated by the Rule and support effective work zone impacts assessment and management throughout project development and delivery. For example, many agencies use standard traffic control plan (TCP) sheets that suit certain types of projects. The standard TCP sheets are generally developed over time using engineering judgment and analyses to determine the best traffic safety and control strategies for specific types of projects. The work zone assessments used to develop the standard TCP sheets may need to be revisited to determine whether to expand these assessments to consider operational and public information strategies.

The Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) employs a Twelve-Minute Delay Rule for work zone delay. The Department identified the need for a design practice to help identify ways to reduce congestion through work zones. Analyses are performed during design based on volume and reduced capacity due to the work zone. If the expected delay approaches or exceeds 12 minutes, other design alternatives or work hours are considered. This analysis helps with understanding congestion issues and assessing options for construction staging and allowable work hours. This practice applies to all types of facilities, locations, and work. As a result of this practice, work zone queuing can be reduced and extra work orders for adjusting staged construction can be eliminated.

Source: FHWA Work Zone Best Practices Guidebook, (Accessed 8/16/05)

Similarly, many agencies are increasingly using work zone traffic incident management (TIM) systems to minimize traffic incident related delays during construction. Over time, information may become available on specific project characteristics that trigger the consideration of a work zone TIM system. This information may then be used to develop procedures to determine the need for such systems during project planning and development. For example, road projects in heavily congested urban areas that experience a high level of traffic incidents are good candidates for deploying work zone TIM systems. Available performance measures that are already in use (e.g., traffic volume, travel time, delay, queue lengths, Level of Service (LOS)) and associated criteria may be included in work zone assessment and management procedures.

Examples of work zone impacts assessment and management procedures include:

  • Procedures for work zone impacts assessment with varying rigor and intensity of assessment based upon the expected impacts of projects. For example, a large complex project may warrant several levels of work zone impacts assessment using quantitative tools, whereas for a less complex project it may be sufficient to qualitatively assess the potential work zone impacts.
  • Procedures and criteria for identifying and categorizing significant projects. For example, more qualitative criteria may be used during systems planning to identify significant projects. Examples of this type of criteria include type of work, expected project duration, project length, location – urban or rural, congestion and crash experience at project location, and whether project is expected to be regionally significant.
  • Procedures and project criteria that trigger the consideration of certain types of project options and management strategies. For example, agencies may develop a routine to determine whether or not night work is suitable for projects or whether a total road-closure may be considered.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) employs many accelerated construction strategies including incentive/disincentive contracting, lane rental, and A+B provisions. The TxDOT Accelerated Construction Strategies Guideline provides information on the project types that best suit the different strategies; and standard specifications, issues, and procedures to be considered for the various strategies.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation, Accelerated Construction Strategies Guideline, September 2003, URL: (Accessed 7/12/05)

  • Procedures for developing TMPs based upon certain categories or intensity of work zone impacts. For example, an agency may use a work zone induced delay threshold that triggers the consideration of TO and/or PI strategies for projects.
  • Procedures for monitoring TMP and work zone performance during construction. For example, agencies may have criteria (e.g., if a project involves multiple lane closures) for using a system/approach to monitor work zone induced delay during construction.
  • Procedures for post-construction performance assessment for process and procedural improvement. For example, agencies may develop post-construction performance assessment requirements for projects that exceed a certain dollar value and/or a certain degree of complexity.

The above discussions provide an overview of issues that could be considered in implementing work zone assessment and management procedures. Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects [2] provides further suggestions for addressing work zone impacts assessment during all stages of project delivery, including policy, systems planning, project development, construction, performance assessment, and maintenance and operations.

4.2 Use of Work Zone Data

4.2.1 Related Provisions in the Rule

The provision that pertains to use of work zone data is provided in Section 630.1008(c) of the Rule. This provision:

  • Requires agencies to use work zone data at both the project and process-levels to manage and improve work zone safety and mobility. The Rule does not require the reporting or submission of work zone data.
  • At the project-level, requires agencies to use field observations, available work zone crash data, and operational information to manage the work zone impacts of individual projects while the projects are underway in the field.
  • At the process-level, requires agencies to analyze work zone crash and operational data from multiple projects to improve agency processes and procedures, and in-turn continually pursue the improvement of overall work zone safety and mobility.
  • Recommends that agencies maintain elements of the data and information resources that are necessary to support the use of work zone data for the above two activities.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) implemented project-specific customer surveys as part of the I-15 reconstruction contract. The surveys actually began shortly after construction began. Mail-out surveys and central location surveys acquired input from the traveling public on the effectiveness of the maintenance of traffic measures used on the project. Changes were made if problem areas were identified by the surveys. The surveys resulted in extensive public input into the traffic control measures as well as modifications based on input received.

Source: FHWA Work Zone Best Practices Guidebook, (Accessed 8/16/05)

4.2.2 Why Are Work Zone Data Relevant?

Work zone data are necessary to make an informed assessment of the success of efforts to manage work zones and their impacts. Work zone field data also enable agencies to assess how well planning and design estimates of anticipated impacts match what actually happens in the field. Work zone data support performance assessments at both the project and program-levels. Available data and information provide the basis for assessing performance and taking appropriate actions to improve performance on individual projects as well as overall processes and procedures. Work zone data also support the process review provision in Section 630.1008(e) of the Rule.

4.2.3 Using Work Zone Data at the Project-Level

At the project-level, the Rule requires agencies to use field observations, available work zone crash data, and operational information to manage work zone impacts for specific projects during implementation. Use of work zone data should support efforts to:

  • Manage the safety and mobility impacts of projects more effectively during implementation.
  • Develop a basis for procedures to assess work zone impacts in project development.

This provision does not require additional data collection during project implementation, but rather, requires the use of available information.

For example, most agencies maintain field diaries for construction projects. These field diaries are intended to provide a log of problems, decisions, and progress made over the duration of a project. In many states, these diaries log incidents and actions such as the need to replace channelization devices into their proper positions after knockdown by an errant vehicle, or to deal with severe congestion that occurred at some point during the day. These log notes, when considered over time during project implementation, may provide indications of safety or operational deficiencies. The deficiencies may then be appropriately addressed, for example by improving the delineation through the work zone to prevent future occurrences of knockdown events, or by altering work schedules to avoid the congestion that recurs due to local traffic generation phenomena.

Work zone reviews can be a valuable source of work zone data and information. Agencies use different names to refer to these types of reviews, such as work zone field reviews, traffic control reviews, and quality assurance inspections for work zone traffic management. These reviews can provide information about work zone management practices currently being used on an agency's projects. The reviews may also provide an indication of how consistently various work zone management practices are being implemented and how well they are working. Conducting some reviews during daylight and some as night inspections can help identify any variations or special concerns specific to these conditions. These reviews often cover aspects of work zone traffic control, such as signage, traffic control devices and layout, overall traffic control management, pavement markings, and speed limits. Reviews may also cover work zone traffic impacts, such as the presence of delays, and the use of impact mitigation strategies, such as the use of alternate route signing and intelligent transportation systems (ITS).

Many areas have ITS in place, and others are implementing specific ITS deployments to manage traffic during construction projects. Both real-time and archived data from such systems can be used to identify safety and mobility issues and trends and take appropriate action as necessary. However, the data formats and information may need to be enhanced to account for work zone issues.

Police crash reports are useful tools for evaluating work zone practices. Many agencies receive crash reports from the police jurisdiction or enforcement agency through established operating agreements. Project personnel may also respond immediately to the project site when notified by an enforcement agency of a work zone incident or crash. The notification process may also be established through operating agreements with the enforcement agency.

The above applications do not necessarily require that agencies gather new data, but there may be a need to improve processes to forward such reports to the appropriate staff member for review during project implementation and/or to provide guidance or training to facilitate interpretation of these reports. Agencies may choose to enhance the data they capture to improve the effectiveness of these processes by following national crash data enhancement recommendations and/or linking it with other information (e.g., enforcement actions, public complaints, contractor claims).

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) installed an intelligent transportation system (ITS) to help with traffic and incident management during its reconstruction of the Big I, the interchange between I-25 and I-40 in Albuquerque. The work zone ITS included a series of cameras that allowed NMDOT to simultaneously make field observations of several areas in the large work zone. NMDOT staff monitored the camera displays from a nearby temporary traffic management center to quickly identify and respond to incidents. The camera displays also enabled NMDOT to observe work zone conditions and see areas where drivers were having difficulty navigating the work zone. NMDOT used these field observational information to make work zone configuration changes to improve traffic flow.

Source: Intelligent Transportation Systems in Work Zones: A Case Study. Work Zone Traffic and Incident Management System (FHWA-OP-04-072) (2004), URL: (Accessed 8/16/05)

4.2.4 Using Work Zone Data at the Process-Level

At the process-level, the Rule requires agencies to continually pursue improvement of work zone safety and mobility by analyzing work zone crash and operational data from multiple projects to improve agency processes and procedures. The same project-level data and information from multiple projects may be compiled and analyzed to identify trends and determine if there are common problems that could be remedied by a change in policy or practices. Work zone data may be used to conduct post-construction evaluations, support process reviews, develop lessons learned, and ultimately improve agency policies and procedures. This data and information typically becomes available during project implementation and it needs to be retained and maintained for post-construction analyses.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) embarked on a data analysis effort to determine if an increased number of work zones was causing more crashes, and if so, what could be done to prevent the increase in crashes. Using data collected during construction and prior to construction, ODOT performed a before/after comparison of crash rates on major Interstate work zones. The analysis showed a significant increase in crashes when work zones were in place, so ODOT further analyzed the data to determine what caused the increase. The analysis showed two primary causes – geometrics and speed. The geometric issues were inadequate off-ramp capacity, inadequate ramp merges, and insufficient paved shoulders. To prevent similar problems from occurring on future projects, ODOT made several changes to its work zone procedures. ODOT began explicitly checking off-ramp capacity in its maintenance of traffic alternatives analysis; created new standards for work zone on-ramp merges and required merges to be detailed in plans; and created a desired cross-section that requires a 2-foot paved shoulder.

Source: "How One State DOT is Addressing WZ Impacts," presented by Dave Holstein, Ohio DOT, Transportation Research Board (TRB), 84th Annual Meeting, Session 476: Work Zone Impacts and Mitigation Efforts, Work Zone Traffic Control Committee, January 11, 2005.

4.2.5 Maintaining Data and Information Resources

The Rule recommends that agencies maintain the data and information resources that are necessary to support the use and analysis of work zone data. Most of the data needed to conduct work zone performance monitoring during implementation as well as post-implementation assessments should be readily available from pre-existing sources. However, data collection or data storage and retrieval systems may need to be altered to take full advantage of available information resources.

For example, traditional analyses of work zone crashes before, during, and after construction projects can be useful in highlighting which types of projects, work activities, traffic situations, or traffic control schemes result in the least crash risk. But crash record systems generally do not contain information about specific projects and work zone attributes. The value of such analyses is enhanced when crash reports offer greater detail, operational data allows the computation of crash rates, or means exist to link crashes to work zone features or construction phases.

The Indiana DOT (INDOT) established work zone baselines, benchmarks, and performance goals for fatalities and injuries. This performance-based process is used to measure effectiveness in work zones and was begun by Indiana in 1996. The benchmarks (10 years of data) provide a statistical picture of Indiana's traffic safety challenges. The baselines, benchmarks, and performance goals are used in Indiana's traffic safety action plan.

Source: FHWA Work Zone Best Practices Guidebook, (Accessed 8/16/05)

Developing new data and information resources or modifying existing resources to support the effective use and analysis of work zone data will likely be an evolutionary process that occurs over time. As the data are used more to assess and improve work zone procedures and practices, an agency may find better ways to store and manage data, or identify additional data elements that would be useful to incorporate into data systems. Systems may also need to be adapted or expanded as more data and data sources become available, such as through broader deployment of ITS in an area. While maintaining data and information resources for work zones will entail some effort, these resources greatly increase the ability to identify work zone issues, detect patterns or trends associated with recurring issues, and determine potential improvements.

4.3 Implementation of Training

4.3.1 Related Provisions in the Rule

The provision that pertains to training is provided in Section 630.1008(d) of the Rule. This provision:

  • Specifies that agencies require appropriate training for personnel involved in the development, design, implementation, operation, inspection, and enforcement of work zone related transportation management and traffic control. Further, the Rule also states that agencies require periodic training updates for these personnel. These periodic training updates are to reflect changing industry practices and agency processes and procedures.
  • Clarifies appropriate training as training that is relevant to the job decisions that each individual is required to make.

4.3.2 Who Needs to be Trained?

Personnel involved in the development, design, implementation, operation, inspection, and enforcement of work zone related transportation management and traffic control need to be trained. This includes transportation planners, design engineers, traffic and safety engineers, temporary traffic control designers and program managers, regional construction managers, construction project staff, maintenance staff, and contractor and utility staff. This may also include executive-level decision-makers, policy makers, senior managers, information officers, and law enforcement and incident responders.

Today a significant portion of work is contracted to consultants and it may be advantageous to include consultants in agency training programs. The Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) offers two Work Zone Safety Training classes - the Temporary Traffic Control Traffic Manager's Training (TTCTM) Course and the Maryland Approved Flagger's Course. Within the last four to five years over 10,000 highway workers have taken the TTCTM Course and over 65,000 highway workers have taken the Maryland Approved Flagger's Course. MDSHA worked with various public and private agencies to reach the 80,000 highway workers through the Train-the-Trainer program. The MDSHA is working with the Maryland Highway Contractors association to provide the traffic managers training course to contractors at a reduced fee.

Ohio DOT (ODOT) provides training to its staff responsible for planning, designing, and implementing work zones. This training is also made available to consultant and contractor staff for a fee. Further, the ODOT pre-qualification policy requires that appropriate consultant and contractor staff undergo the work zone training in order to attain pre-qualification status.

Sources: Maryland Quality Initiative Web Site, Key Initiatives of Recent Years Page, URL: (Accessed 08/12/05)
Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), Work Zone Traffic Control Page, Temporary Traffic Control Training Program, URL: (Accessed 8/12/05)

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) policy on Traffic Management in Work Zones Interstate and Other Freeways, Policy No.: 516-003(P), July 18, 2000. Available online in the Policy section of ODOT's web site. URL: (Accessed 09/08/05).

The training needs to be appropriate to an individual's job responsibilities and to the job decisions that each individual needs to make. So, a flagger need not be trained in principles of TMP development but a designer should be. Training for senior managers would be less detailed than training for designers.

Agencies may have both internal and external training needs. External needs include those for project development (design or engineering service consultants) and those for construction activities. Each agency needs to consider these needs and identify appropriate means to ensure that external partners develop the necessary knowledge and skills.

In addition to training, some agencies require certification for certain personnel, such as flaggers and traffic control supervisors.

The Oregon DOT (ODOT)selects certain projects that require a traffic control supervisor (TCS). The person identified for this position must possess appropriate certification. The certification requires training. The national specification database ( shows a TCS specification for more than 10 states.
Most DOTs require certified flaggers on highway construction projects.

Source: Traffic Control Supervisor (TCS) specification is available on the ODOT Specifications Web Page at: (Accessed 8/12/05)

Information about the TCS course and certification may be obtained at the Evergreen Safety Council's website at: (Accessed 8/12/05)

4.3.3 Who Provides the Training?

Agencies are not solely responsible for providing training. The responsibility of the agency is to require that appropriate personnel that are involved in planning, designing, and implementing work zone transportation management and traffic control are trained so that they have the necessary skill, knowledge, and abilities. Training is a means to developing a knowledgeable workforce. The agency is also not solely responsible for updating all training courses to reflect changing industry practices; however, it is responsible for requiring that personnel receive updated training on a periodic basis.

For engineering consultant contracts, agencies may identify needs and requirements through the proposal or consultant procurement process. Professional engineering registration requirements as regulated through the individual states will need to be considered. Existing policies and regulatory controls may already provide that a practicing engineer be competent and maintain currency with training for designing work zone traffic control. For construction contracts, states may impose requirements through contract provisions.

4.3.4 Training Resources

Work zone training is available from various sources, some or all of which the agency may already use. Examples of some of the available training sources include the following:

  • The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI) provides several work zone training courses, including courses on work zone traffic control and work zone management and design. These courses can help develop skills and knowledge on the technical and non-technical aspects of work zone traffic control and transportation management practices. NHI's URL is
  • The National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse hosted by the Texas Transportation Institute provides an extensive National database of available work zone training. The URL is
  • Agency specific and/or locally customized training courses and programs, such as local technical assistance program (LTAP)/technology transfer (T2) courses or university courses are also available. For example, "A Guide to Establishing Speed Limits in Highway Work Zones," is provided by the Minnesota DOT, and the Ohio LTAP Center provides a guide on "Hazards to Motor Vehicles and Pedestrians at Urban Construction Projects."
  • Transportation organizations, such as the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), offer some work zone training and certification programs. ATSSA's URL is, and ITE's URL is

4.3.5 Considerations for Implementing an Overall Training Program

Some issues for agencies to consider in developing and implementing an overall work zone training program are:

  • Identification of target audience for the training.
  • Identification of training needs and core competencies for the target audience.
  • Identification of pre-existing training programs and courses that meet the training needs of the target audience.
  • Update and/or development of agency-specific or local training programs to augment pre-existing courses.
  • Development and implementation of training programs for training professionals within the agency.
  • Identification of typical refresher course requirements for the target audience.
  • Whether to include training requirements in the agency's work zone policy.
  • Record-keeping and facilitation of training updates.
  • Funding sources for the training program.
  • Timeline for offering initial training and sustained training.
  • Contractor, consultant, and other private sector involvement.

4.4 Work Zone Process Reviews

4.4.1 Related Provisions in the Rule

The provision that pertains to process reviews is provided in Section 630.1008(e) of the Rule. This provision:

  • Requires agencies to perform a process review at least every two years to assess the effectiveness of their work zone safety and mobility procedures.
  • Provides two options for agencies to conduct the process review. The first option is to evaluate work zone data at the agency level, and the second option is to review randomly selected projects across their jurisdictions. A combination of these approaches can also be used.
  • Recommends that appropriate personnel, who represent the project development stages and the different offices within the agency, as well as the FHWA, participate in the process reviews.
  • Allows the participation of other non-agency stakeholders in the reviews as appropriate.
  • Explains that the process review results are intended to lead to improvements in agency work zone processes and procedures, data and information resources, and training programs, that ultimately enhance efforts to address safety and mobility on current and future projects.

4.4.2 Why Process Reviews?

Periodic evaluation of work zone policies, processes, procedures, and work zone impacts aids in the process of addressing and managing the safety and mobility impacts of work zones. Reviews help assess the effectiveness of a program or a set of processes and procedures. They enable the agency and respective FHWA Division Office to confirm that a problem does not exist, and to make recommendations to improve situations where shortcomings might exist.

The following are examples of questions that the process reviews may help answer:

  • How are work zones performing with respect to mobility and safety?
  • Are the best possible decisions in planning, designing, and implementing our work zones being made?
  • Are customer expectations being met with respect to maintaining safety and mobility and minimizing business and community impacts both through, and in and around the work zone?
  • Can areas for improvement be identified?
  • How have areas for improvement that were identified in the past been addressed?
  • What has both worked and not worked – which strategies have proven to be either more or less effective in improving the safety and mobility of work zones?
  • What other strategies can be considered for implementation?
  • Are there certain combinations of strategies that seem to work well?
  • Can any work zone safety and mobility trends be identified, at the national level or local level? What can be done to advocate characteristics associated with good trends? What can be done to remedy the problems associated with bad trends?
  • How do work zone performance, the effectiveness of strategies, or areas of improvement vary between day work and night work?
  • Should policies or agency procedures be adjusted based on what has been observed or measured?
  • Can consistency be brought about in the identification of such trends, issues, and problems and in the standardization of tools and guidelines for application at the agency, State, and/or national level?

In 1997, the Virginia DOT (VDOT) developed and implemented a work zone safety checklist form for reviewing and documenting the status/condition of work zones for construction/maintenance/utility/permit operations. The form was developed to: develop a statewide standardized form for conducting and documenting work zone safety reviews; provide contractors, in writing, a list of work zone deficiencies; and improve the appearance and function of work zone traffic control. The form is required to be filled out a minimum of once a week by construction inspectors, with every other review performed at night. The contractor is given a copy for correcting work zone deficiencies, and a copy is filed with the project records. The use of this form resulted in: consistent reviews of work zones by construction inspectors and district work zone safety personnel; improved documentation of work zone conditions; and improved response time to work zone deficiencies by contractors.

Source: FHWA Work Zone Best Practices Guidebook, (Accessed 8/16/05)

4.4.3 Work Zone Performance Aspects

Work zone performance assessment aspects addressed in the process reviews may involve two tracks: 1) the overall work zone management process and 2) work zone field performance and management strategies. This may include:

  • Collection of data including project related information as well as public and stakeholder perception.
  • Synthesis and analysis of data at multiple levels (project, local, regional, State, and national) and comparison of findings to performance metrics.
  • Application of the analysis results toward continually improving work zone practices, policies, processes, and procedures.

Four performance measure areas of interest for the work zone process review are safety, mobility, construction efficiency and effectiveness, and public perception and satisfaction.

More detail on work zone performance aspects is provided in the Performance Assessment Chapter of Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects.[3]

4.4.4 Conducting Process Reviews

The Rule allows the following methods, alone or in combination, for conducting the process review:

  • Evaluation of work zone data at the agency-level.
  • Review of randomly selected projects across a variety of jurisdictions.

Often times, there may be a necessity to use a combination of the two approaches to conduct the process reviews. Evaluation of work zone data at the agency-level involves synthesis and analysis of data from multiple projects. This lends itself to creative clustering and categorization of data and the development of aggregate results to identify trends and develop categorical statistics. Reviewing individual projects helps gain an in-depth understanding of individual project circumstances, the different decision-trees that were involved, the actual impacts, and the performance of the project's work zone transportation management strategies. In either case, reviews should include projects that represent a range of characteristics, such as day and night work; type of work being done; duration of the project; local traffic characteristics; and/or transportation management strategies used.

The agency and the FHWA Division Office generally work together to identify the scope of review, based on the Stewardship Agreement and a risk assessment. Also, FHWA Division Offices are frequently involved in project inspections on major construction projects. For these projects, it would be beneficial to periodically review the collection and use of work zone mobility and safety data.

Conducting process reviews may include the following action items:

  • Assemble multi-disciplinary team.
  • Develop review objectives.
  • Determine review methods.
  • Conduct review.
  • Analyze and interpret results.
  • Develop inferences, recommendations, and lessons learned.
  • Prioritize recommendations and lessons learned.
  • Set performance objectives for next review.
  • Apply recommendations and lessons learned.

It may be helpful and appropriate to include some key stakeholders in process reviews. For example, the workers responsible for implementing and monitoring a TMP in the field are generally following the plan that was developed earlier by agency design or traffic engineering staff, or consultants. Including designers and consultants in some process reviews may help them improve future TMPs. The multidisciplinary team for a process review may be the same team that implements the overall policy and the agency processes and procedures.

The following technical resources may be used for conducting process reviews:

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