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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Lane Closure Policies

Many agencies have policy provisions that address specific aspects of decision-making during project delivery. Agencies may choose to develop and implement policy provisions in the form of mandated requirements and/or in the form of policy guidance, as appropriate to their individual operating environments. Several States have policy provisions for lane closures. These lane closure policies, or strategies, provide guidance in determining permitted lane closure times, which define what times of the day, week, or season a lane closure is allowed on a facility and at a specific location or segment.

Fact Sheet – Lane Closure Policies and Management Systems

This FHWA fact sheet defines lane closure policies and management systems. It provides examples of several states that have developed lane closure policies and systems to aid in the scheduling of work zones and to improve mobility by restricting lane closure hours during peak travel times and coordinating lane closures to manage combined impacts.

Lane Closure Policy Development, Enforcement, and Exceptions: A Survey of Seven State Transportation Agencies

This report (PDF 873KB) developed by the Center for Transportation Research and Education at Iowa State University examines the lane closure policies of several State DOTs.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Each Colorado DOT (CDOT) region has its own lane closure policy. While the CDOT methodology used to determine lane closure impacts is applied uniformly across all regions, the criteria and policies for closing lanes are region-specific. For example, daytime lane closures are prohibited in the Denver Metro area, but are allowed in more rural areas.

Indiana Department of Transportation

The Indiana DOT has a lane closure policy for Interstate highways (PDF 1.2MB). It includes maps and tables that provide pre-approved lanes closure schedules which define the allowable times a lane(s) may be closed on Indiana's Interstate System. If the proposed closure exceeds the number of lanes permitted or falls outside of the times listed, a waiver to the policy must be submitted. No reduction of available lanes on an Interstate route may exceed 5 miles in a single direction (including taper) without a waiver.

Maryland State Highway Administration

The Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) Lane Closure Analysis Guidelines (PDF 54KB) focus on mobility impacts. However, MDSHA recommends that safety impacts also be considered during the evaluation of lane closures. MDSHA can waive mandatory conditions contained in the guidelines upon approval by the Chief Engineer. Pages 6 and 7 include flow charts outlining the lane closure guidelines procedure for arterials and freeways.

New Jersey Department of Transportation

The New Jersey DOT (NJDOT) report, Development of Uniform Standards for Allowable Lane Closure, evaluates procedures for determining allowable lane closure hours to perform maintenance, construction, resurfacing, regional permit, and major access permit work on New Jersey State highways and develops a uniform process that considers the impacts of lane closures on traffic and productivity. QuickZone was used to analyze long term lane closures and the Rutgers Interactive Lane Closure Application tool was used to analyze short term lane closures.

Ohio Department of Transportation

The Ohio DOT (ODOT) requires that lane closures on Interstate and other freeways shall meet the minimum criteria presented in their Maintenance of Traffic Policy 516-003(P) (PDF 125KB). The Policy states that each ODOT District shall identify permitted lane closure schedules that define the allowable times a lane(s) may be closed on the Interstate/Freeway system within that District. ODOT has developed a Permitted Lane Closure web site with a search feature to enable searching for the hours of the day in which a lane closure is permitted at a subject work zone location.

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