Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

6.0 Developing TMPs for Projects

One of the goals of the updated Rule (the Rule) is to expand work zone impacts management beyond traffic safety and control by using transportation management strategies, as applicable to a project. Inclusion of these strategies helps to reduce traffic and mobility impacts, improve safety, and promote coordination within and around the work zone. One way to do this is through the development of transportation management plans (TMPs) for road projects. TMPs are required by the Rule for all Federal-aid highway projects. Work zone impacts and issues vary, so State and local transportation agencies [1] need to develop and implement TMPs that best serve the mobility and safety needs of their road users, construction workers, businesses, and community. This Section provides an overview on developing and implementing TMPs.

6.1 Overview

6.1.1 What is a TMP?

A TMP lays out a set of coordinated strategies and describes how these strategies will be used to manage the work zone impacts of a project. The scope, content, and level of detail of a TMP may vary based on the agency's work zone policy and the anticipated work zone impacts of the project. The type of TMP needed for a project is based on whether the project is determined to be a "significant project" [2] (as described in detail in Section 5.0 of this document).

Careful consideration of the TMP should result in minimizing confusion and delays to motorists and pedestrians, as well as reduce crashes, provide greater safety to the various parties involved in the project, and improve the image of Mn/DOT and the construction industry.

Source: Minnesota Department of Transportation, Traffic Engineering Manual (Chapter 8: Work Zone Traffic Control), June 2000, URL: (Accessed 6/15/05)

6.1.2 Related Provisions in the Rule

The Rule requires TMPs for all Federal-aid highway projects. The requirements for TMPs are provided in § 630.1012 of the Rule and are summarized as follows:

  • For significant projects, the TMP shall consist of a Temporary Traffic Control (TTC) plan as well as transportation operations (TO) and public information (PI) components. A TTC plan addresses traffic safety and control through the work zone. The TO component addresses sustained operations and management of the work zone impact area, and the PI component addresses communication with the public and concerned stakeholders.
  • For projects that are not classified as significant projects, the TMP may consist only of a TTC plan. However, agencies are encouraged to consider TO and PI issues for these projects as well.
  • A TTC plan shall be consistent with the provisions under Part 6 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and with the work zone hardware recommendations in Chapter 9 of American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Roadside Design Guide. [3] The TTC plan may be incorporated in the TMP by reference, such as reference to elements in the MUTCD or approved standard agency plans or manuals. TTC plans may also be specifically designed for individual projects. In developing and implementing the TTC plan, the Rule requires that pre-existing roadside safety hardware be maintained at an equivalent or better level than existed prior to project implementation.
  • Agencies should coordinate with appropriate stakeholders in developing a TMP.
  • The provisions for a TMP shall be included in the project's Plans, Specifications, and Estimates (PS&Es). The PS&Es shall either contain all the applicable elements of an agency-developed TMP, or include provisions for a contractor to develop a TMP at the most appropriate project phase, as applicable to the agency's chosen contracting methodology for the project. In the case of contractor-developed TMPs, it is expected that the contractor would incorporate the minimum TMP requirements already developed by the agency during the planning process. For example, the PS&Es for a design-build project may include the skeleton for a TMP, as developed by the agency in its planning process, and the provisions for completing TMP development under the contract. The agency must approve contractor developed TMPs and they cannot be implemented until approved.
  • Pay item provisions for implementing the TMP shall be included in PS&Es, either through method-based (pay items, lump sum, or combination) or performance-based specifications (performance criteria and standards). Examples of potential performance criteria include number of crashes in the work zone, incident response or clearance time, travel time through the work zone, delay, queue length, and/or traffic volume.
  • The agency and the contractor shall each designate a trained person at the project-level who has the primary responsibility and sufficient authority for implementing the TMP. The designated personnel have to be appropriately trained (per § 630.1008(d) of the Rule).

6.2 How and When Should TMPs Be Developed, Implemented, and Evaluated?

TMP development begins during systems planning and progresses through the design phase of a project. Existing project development processes can provide valuable information to guide TMP development. For example, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process during project planning can be a primary source of constraints or inputs for the project. Developing the TMP will involve identifying applicable strategies to manage the impacts of the work zone. The costs for the management strategies need to be incorporated in early project estimates and the budgeting process to ensure that funding is available for TMP implementation.

The TMP development process is iterative and evolves during the development of the project design. As the TMP evolves, it is important to reassess the management strategies to confirm that the work zone impacts are addressed and the necessary budget for the project is still available. The TMP may be re-evaluated and revised prior to and during implementation and monitoring. Finally, both project-level and program-level assessments of TMPs are recommended to evaluate the effectiveness of the management strategies and improve TMP policies, processes, and procedures. Figure 6.1 presents a general process diagram for TMP development. The example process in the diagram shows three types of TMPs (Basic, Intermediate, and Major). Agencies may elect to develop a different number of categories of TMPs than what is described here.

The remainder of Section 6.2 provides an overview of the steps contained in Figure 6.1. Additional detail can be found in Developing and Implementing Transportation Management Plans (TMPs) for Work Zones and Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects. [4]

Figure 6.1 TMP Development
Figure 6.1 TMP Development

6.2.1 TMP Development During Planning, Preliminary Engineering, and Design

Two of the keys to a successful TMP are:

  • Developing it as early as possible.
  • Using a multidisciplinary approach.

Although a full TMP document is not developed until design, conducting some TMP analyses during systems planning [5] and preliminary engineering will help ensure adequate implementation costs are included in the project budget. At this early stage, more alternatives for addressing work zone impacts are available, so a broader range of strategies can be chosen. For example, at this stage one available strategy is scheduling and coordinating projects to minimize the cumulative impacts of multiple projects in a corridor or region. Another strategy available in the earlier stages of project development is to consider work zone impacts in the evaluation and selection design alternatives. For some projects it may be possible to choose a design alternative that alleviates many work zone impacts. These broader strategies cross various disciplines and highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach. Steps towards TMP development that might occur during planning, preliminary engineering, and design are described below.

Where a series of proposed projects are along the same corridor or along corridors of close proximity, a single TMP covering all projects should be used. If circumstances prohibit a single TMP, the individual TMPs should be coordinated.

Source: Indiana Department of Transportation, Chapter 81 of the Indiana Design Manual, Transportation Management Plans, URL: (Accessed 8/16/05)

Step 1 – Compile Project Material

The project design team begins by compiling available project materials such as:

  • Project definition (project scope, roadway and traffic characteristics, other factors such as public outreach, community information, etc.).
  • Construction phasing/staging approaches and plans.
  • Preliminary work zone management strategies.
  • Preliminary cost estimates for strategy implementation (when available).

Information from other projects in the corridor to evaluate the combined or cumulative impact of the projects.

The design team should work with appropriate technical specialists to develop the best combination of design, construction staging, and work zone management strategies. As more information and data become available, the management strategies and their costs should be refined.

Step 2 – Determine TMP Needs

The elements of a TMP needed for a project are based on whether the project is determined to be significant. Section 5.0 of this document provides guidance for identifying significant projects. If a project is expected to be significant, the TMP will consist of a TTC as well as a TO component and a PI component. For projects that are not classified as significant projects, the TMP needs to contain a TTC plan. While TO and PI components are optional for non-significant projects, agencies are encouraged to consider including them.

2A – Basic TMP (TTC)

Basic TMPs are typically applied on construction or maintenance projects with minimal disruption to the traveling public and adjacent businesses and community. These projects typically only involve the development of a TTC plan, often known as a Traffic Control Plan (TCP) or Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plan. TTC plans need to be consistent with provisions under Part 6 of the MUTCD and with the work zone hardware recommendations in Chapter 9 of AASHTO's Roadside Design Guide. Depending on how the agency decides to develop TTCs, basic TMPs may consist of one- or two-page forms that provide information on the project's location and schedule, plus what is traditionally done by agencies for a TCP or MOT.

2B – Intermediate TMP (TTC, and some optional TO and/or PI)

Intermediate TMPs are likely to be used for construction or maintenance projects that are anticipated to have more than minimal disruption, but have not been identified as significant projects. For example, these projects may be expected to impact a moderate number of travelers and have moderate public interest, such as single lane closures in urban areas or commercial business districts (CBDs). Intermediate TMPs provide more detailed mitigation strategies. In addition to a TTC, intermediate TMPs would also include some element of public information (PI) and/or traffic operations (TO) strategies, as well as cost estimates.

2C – Major TMP (TTC/TO/PI)

Major TMPs are intended for significant projects. These projects, such as multiple lane-closures or total closure of a vital corridor in an urban area or CBD, typically have moderate to high impacts on traffic and the local area and generate public interest. Major TMPs consist of a TTC plan, and also address PI and TO components. In addition to the TMP components required by the Rule, TMPs may also contain cost estimates, coordination strategies between stakeholders, secondary mitigation strategy(s), analysis of potential impacts on detour routes, and analysis of the potential impacts of the management strategies. The consideration and incorporation of these additional items may help agencies develop and implement a TMP that effectively manages the work zone impacts of the project, and serves the need of the agency, the traveling public, workers, and other parties affected by the project.

Guidance for TMP components can be found in Section 6.3 of this document.

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation develops a Traffic Management Strategy that defines the Ministry"s requirements for traffic management for a project. The strategy defines requirements for a Traffic Management Plan, which includes some of all of the following: traffic control plan, public information plan, incident response/management plan, and an implementation plan. For example, a Public Information Plan identifies actions and procedures to inform the traveling public, project stakeholders and the Ministry of current and planned changes to traffic operations. A Public Information Plan shall be modified throughout the project life cycle to address issues as they arise.

Source: British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, Traffic Management Guidelines for Work on Roadways, September 2001, URL: (Accessed 8/16/05)

Step 3 – Identify Stakeholders

This step involves the identification of stakeholders that can provide valuable input to the agency on what strategies to include in the TMP to help manage the work zone impacts of a project. This is generally intended for the development of intermediate and major TMPs. Stakeholders should represent different perspectives and will vary depending on the nature of the project.

Stakeholders may include internal agency staff from planning, design, safety, construction, operations, maintenance, public affairs, public transportation, pavement, bridge, and other technical specialists; and external stakeholders such as local government (county, city, regional), FHWA, public transportation providers, contractors, regional Transportation Management Centers (TMCs), railroad agencies/operators, freight operators, enforcement agencies, utility providers, emergency services, local businesses, community groups, and schools.

It is recommended that a TMP team be developed for major TMP efforts to see the project through from design to final assessment.

Step 4 – Develop TMP

The essence of the TMP development process lies in developing and evaluating the best combination of construction staging, project design, TTC plan, TO strategies, and PI strategies, hand-in-hand with each other. Work zone management strategies should be identified based on the project constraints, construction staging plan, type of work zone, and anticipated work zone impacts. Some agencies use strict lane closure strategies or permissible lane closure times that must be followed. Other agencies use analysis tools (e.g., simulation models, queue analysis spreadsheets) to predict delays, queues, and impacts of detours on the city arterials of various strategies. Cost is often a constraint for the development of a TMP, particularly for major TMPs. Finally, the TMP needs to include appropriate pay item provisions for implementation.

For basic TMPs, the TMP development process will largely consist of developing a TTC or MOT plan. The TTC or MOT plan shall be either a reference to specific TTC elements in the MUTCD, approved standard TTC plans, agency transportation department TTC manual, or can be designed specifically for the project.

In Illinois, project designers or the Traffic Management Analysis team must compare the benefits and costs of each option to address traffic issues during construction. Right-of-way costs, additional construction costs, environmental effects, vehicular delay, user costs, business and community impacts, crash potential, and detour costs are considered.

Source: Illinois Department of Transportation, Chapter 13 of the Bureau of Design and Environmental Manual, Work Zone Traffic Management Studies, Traffic Management Analysis (TMA) Report, December 2002, URL: (Accessed 8/16/05)

Step 5 – Update/Revise TMP

This step represents the iterative aspect of TMP development. The TMP is a "dynamic document" that is maintained and revised by the TMP team as the project progresses and when more information becomes available. This step may include the possible reclassification of a project as significant or not significant.

Step 6 – Finalize Construction Phasing/Staging and TMP

The PS&Es shall include either all the applicable elements of a TMP, or the provisions for a contractor to develop a TMP. [6] FHWA encourages agencies to begin TMP development early in the project development process, so in many cases agencies will have begun TMP development prior to project letting, even for design-build projects. FHWA envisions that in cases where contractors will develop TMPs, the PS&Es are likely to contain the skeleton/outline of a TMP developed by the agency during its planning process, and the provisions for completing TMP development under the contract. For example, if an agency uses performance-based specifications for a project, the performance requirements are laid out in the contract documents with the contractor being responsible for developing a TMP (working form any agency-provided skeleton) that best meets the performance specifications. TMPs are subject to agency approval, with input from stakeholders, as appropriate. Once approved, the TMP and the phasing/staging plans are finalized.

6.2.2 TMP Implementation, Monitoring, and Revisions During Construction

Step 7 – Re-Evaluate/Revise TMP

If alternative construction phasing/staging plans or other management strategies have been suggested, the contractor or agency needs to review the TMP to see if changes are needed. TMPs developed or revised during contracting or construction are approved by the agency prior to implementation.

Step 8 – Implement TMP

The TMP is implemented. Some components of the TMP may need to be implemented prior to construction (e.g., public relations campaign, improvements to detour routes).

Step 9 – TMP Monitoring

Monitoring the performance of the work zone and that of the TMP during the construction phase is important to see if the predicted impacts closely resemble the actual conditions in the field and if the TMP is working effectively. Examples of possible performance measures for TMP monitoring include volume, travel time, queue length, delay, number of incidents, incident response and clearance times, contractor incidents, community complaints, user costs, and cumulative impacts from adjacent construction activities. Performance monitoring requirements and measures should be based on agency policies, standards, and procedures, and should be included in the project contract documents when appropriate. TMP monitoring and assessment are best written into the TMP during TMP development, rather than devised after the fact.

Step 10 – Update/Revise TMP Based on Monitoring

If performance requirements are not met, the agency and/or contractor should revisit the TMP and consider alternate management strategies and/or staging approach(es) that meet the approval of the agency.

In order to effectively evaluate and revise a program, performance measures should be developed that reflect the specific goals and objectives of the program. For example, if quick clearance is a goal, measurements of how long it takes to respond to and clear an incident should be obtained. These can be built into the contract as incentives to encourage the contractor to deliver and document effective incident management procedures.

Source: Colorado Department of Transportation, Guidelines for Developing Traffic Incident Management Plans for Work Zones, September 2003, URL: (Accessed 8/16/05)

6.2.3 TMP Performance Assessment

Step 11 – Post-Project TMP Evaluation

Following construction completion, it is a good idea, particularly for significant projects, to prepare a short report that contains an evaluation of the TMP. Elements to consider including in the post-project evaluation are successes and failures, changes made to the TMP and results of those changes, any feedback received from the public, actual measures of conditions versus what was predicted, cost for implementation of the strategies, and suggested improvements. The findings can be used to help in the development and implementation of future TMPs.

TMP performance assessment can aid in addressing the following concerns:

  • Which management strategies have proven to be either more or less effective in improving the safety and mobility of work zones?
  • Are there combinations of strategies that seem to work well?
  • Should TMP policies, processes, procedures, standards, and/or costs be adjusted based on what has been observed or measured?
  • Are the best decisions in planning, designing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing work zones being made?

6.3 Potential TMP Components

Table 6.1 summarizes the components for agencies to consider for their TMPs. This list is intended to serve as guidance. The components included, terminology used, and the level of detail of the TMP depend on the project details and whether a project is classified as significant; agency policies, procedures, and guidelines; and the potential work zone impacts of the project. While an agency may include many of these components in a major TMP, it is not expected that agencies would include many of them in a basic TMP.

TMP components may also be described in other existing project reports. For example, an agency may have a detailed project design report with sections for geotechnical, bridge, drainage, and pavement. In this case, some of the items listed below may be unnecessary. In such cases, an agency may decide to include a summary of these items or a reference to such items in the TMP for coordination purposes.

More detailed information on the TMP components is provided in Section 3.0 of Developing and Implementing Transportation Management Plans (TMPs) for Work Zones. [7]

Table 6.1 Potential TMP Components
TMP Component Brief Description
1. Introductory Material Cover page, Licensed Engineer stamp page (if required by the agency), table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, list of abbreviations and symbols, and terminology
2. Executive Summary Overview of each of the TMP components
3. TMP Roles and Responsibilities TMP manager, stakeholders/review committee, approval contact(s), TMP implementation task leaders (e.g., public information liaison, incident management coordinator, etc.), TMP monitoring, and emergency contacts
4. Project Description Information such as project type, project background, project area/corridor, project goals and constraints, proposed construction staging, general schedule and timeline, and related projects
5. Existing and Future Conditions For the project area, including data collection and modeling approach, existing roadway characteristics (history, roadway classification, number of lanes, geometrics, urban/suburban/rural), existing and historical traffic data (volumes, speed, capacity, volume/capacity, percent trucks, queue length, peak traffic hours), existing traffic operations (signal timing, traffic controls), incident and crash data, local community and business concerns/issues, traffic growth rates (for future construction dates), and traffic predictions during construction (volume, delay, queue)
6. Work Zone Impacts Assessment Depending on the type of TMP, could just be a qualitative assessment of the potential work zone impacts and the effect of the chosen management strategies; or a detailed analysis of the same, or both.
7. Work Zone Impacts Management Strategies For the mainline and detour routes by construction staging, including TTC strategies, PI strategies, and TO strategies. Findings and recommendations.
8. TMP Monitoring Requirements TMP monitoring requirements and what the evaluation report of the TMP successes and failures should include
9. Contingency Plans Potential problems and corrective actions to be taken, standby equipment or personnel
10. TMP Implementation Costs Itemized costs, cost responsibilities/sharing opportunities, and funding source(s)
11. Special Considerations As needed
12. Attachments As needed

6.4 Work Zone Impact Management Strategies to Consider

Many work zone impact management strategies can be used to minimize traffic delays, improve mobility, maintain or improve motorist and worker safety, complete road work in a timely manner, and maintain access for businesses and residents. Table 6.2 presents various work zone management strategies by category. This set of strategies is not meant to be all-inclusive, but offers a large number to consider, as appropriate, in developing TMPs. Descriptions for each of the work zone management strategies and guidance on when and how to apply them are located in Section 4.0 and Appendix B of Developing and Implementing Transportation Management Plans (TMPs) for Work Zones. [8]

Table 6.2 Work Zone Management Strategies by Category Part 1 Table 6.2 Work Zone Management Strategies by Category Part 2
Table 6.2 Work Zone Management Strategies by Category

  1. Hereinafter referred to as agencies.
  2. A significant project is one that, alone or in combination with other concurrent projects nearby is anticipated to cause sustained work zone impacts that are greater than what is considered tolerable based on the respective agency's policy and/or engineering judgment.
  3. MUTCD URL: Roadside Design Guide, Chapter 9 - Traffic Barriers, Traffic Control Devices, and Other Safety Features for Work Zones, AASHTO, 2002, URL:
  4. Available at
  5. Systems planning is the stage of project delivery when short- and long-term transportation needs and deficiencies are identified, and appropriate projects are recommended and programmed.
  6. Depending upon the contracting and PS&E approach for a given project, agencies may choose to have contractors develop the TMP prior to the start of work.
  7. Available at
  8. Available at
  9. A wide range of other safety devices are described in Part 6 of the MUTCD and are widely used to enhance safety and mobility in highway work zones. These devices, such as temporary traffic barriers and crash cushions, are included in the Work Zone Safety Management Strategies category.

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