Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Text from 'Concepts for Enhancing the Effectiveness of Traffic Control Plans' PowerPoint Presentation

Slide 01

Title: Concepts for Enhancing the Effectiveness of Traffic Control Plans

By Stuart Anderson and Gerald Ullman

Prepared for

Making Work Zones Work Better Workshop

From the Texas Transportation Institute

Materials, Pavements & Transportation Operations

Slide 02

Title: Background

(part 1 of 2)

  • Maintenance of traffic issues and traffic control plans (TCP)
  • Temporal and spatial requirements impact construction (Temporal/time and Spatial/dimensions)
  • Options available

Slide 03

Title: Background

(part 2 of 2)

Traffic Management Requirements
Options Available


  • Daytime off-peak work (i.e., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Nighttime work (i.e., 7 p.m. - 6 a.m.)
  • Weekend work (i.e., 7 p.m. Friday - 6 a.m. Monday)
  • Intermediate-term work (overnight to 3 days duration)
  • Long-term work (longer than 3 days duration)

Spatial (Lateral)

  • Lane shifts onto a shoulder or to temporary lanes
  • Lane constrictions. (A.) Lane closures (number of single lanes closed; number of multiple lanes closed; (B.) Traffic-handling schemes (Crossovers, Interior (middle) lane or lanes, and Reversible express lanes
  • Total roadway closures

Spatial (Longitudinal)

  • Full length closures
  • Advancing limited closure
  • Leap-frogging limited closure

Slide 04

Title: Problem

  • Lack of early and sufficient input of traffic and construction expertise
  • Policy directives, funding and other factors often limit alternatives
  • Solution may be sub-optimal

Slide 05

Title: Preferred Practice

  • Prior to detailed PS&E design
  • During detailed PS&E design

Diagram: This diagram illustrates three phases. In the first phase the inside shoulders of a highway are widened. The highway has two lanes each way. In the second phase traffic is allowed on the widened inside shoulders, while construction occurs on the outside lanes. In the third phase, traffic is allowed on the new pavement in the outside lanes, while construction occurs on the inside lanes.

Slide 06

Title: Consider (part 1 of 2)

Pavement related processes

  • What is done
  • Pavement treatments and materials

Photo: a road crew paving a highway

Slide 07

Title: Consider

(part 2 of 2)

Non-pavement related processes

  • How is pavement treatment accomplished
  • Traffic and construction related issues

Photo: A major highway under construction with some lanes blocked and others with traffic

Slide 08

Title: Process Approach

  • Integrate pavement and non-pavement related processes
  • Process developed under NCHRP Project 10-50A
  • Fundementals: Start early in project development, use multidisciplinary team approach, analyze Traffic approaches to minimize impacts, and promote construction input on continuous basis

Slide 09

Title: Process Approach (1 of 2)

Four main steps

  • Identify candidate sections
  • Identify pavement condition
  • Screen potential strategies
  • Evaluate feasible strategies

Content of steps

  • Objectives
  • Key activities
  • Issues to consider
  • Resources
  • Practical illustrations

Slide 10

Title: Process Approach

(2 of 2)

  • Validated by industry
  • Case studies demonstrated applicability
  • Documented in final report.
    • A Process for Selecting Strategies for Rehabilitation of Rigid Pavements, Final Report, NCHRP Project 10-50A, February 2002.
    • Contact NCHRP Program for Copy

Slide 11

Title: Selection Process

Diagram: This graphic is a flowchart of the selection process, showing four steps. Step one is Identify Candidate Sections. Step two is Identify Pavement Condition, which includes: Conduct Survey, Conduct Field & Laboratory Tests, and Identify Distress Mechanisms. Step three is Screen Potential Strategies, which includes: 1. Select Possible Treatments, Identify Traffic and Construction Issues, Estimate Preliminary Cost, and Identify Feasible Strategies. After step 3, the question is asked: "Require Additional Information?" If "yes", go back to step 2. If "no" continue to Step 4, Evaluate Feasible Strategies, which includes Determine Level of Traffic and Construction Analysis; Analyze Traffic Alternatives; Perform Constructibility Analysis; Determine Contracting Approach; Perform Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA); and Recommend Most Appropriate MRR.

Slide 12

Title: Screen Potential Strategies

Diagram: This graphic is a repetition of slide 11, but highlights step 3 and adds the output of step 3, which is Required Design Information and Feasible Strategies.

Slide 13

Title: Resource

  • Description of resource
  • Relevance to analysis
  • References for more information
  • Examples:
    • Work zone analysis tool, QUICKZONE;
    • Workshop approach - Get In, Get Out, Stay Application;
    • Constructibility Review Process Workbook - NCHRP Report 391

Slide 14

Title: Traffic and Construction Issues

Photo: A map showing many highways with one highway highlighted, running north and south in the Los Angeles area.

Slide 15

Title: Traffic and Construction Issues: Caltrans I-710 Alternative

(part 1 of 2)


  • Segmental full closure (3 to 5 miles) in one direction
  • All lanes available to traffic weekdays
  • Install ITS during construction
  • Recommend use of alternate routes  (I-110, I-605, Lakewood Blvd. and other local streets)

Slide 16

Title: Traffic and Construction Issues: Caltrans I-710 Alternative

(part 2 of 2)


  • Two concrete plants
  • Concrete plants produce about 1800 CY per hour
  • Back-up equipment and extra sources of materials
  • Recycle existing PCC pavement
  • Ten-hour shifts
  • Three stage operation
  • 16 weekends

Slide 17

Title: Evaluate Potential Strategies

Diagram: This graphic is a repetition of slide 11, but highlights step 4 and adds the output of step 4, which is Preferred Strategy.

Slide 18

Title: Level of Analysis

  • DOT standard traffic and construction approach
  • DOT standard traffic and construction approach but with some enhanced techniques to address special issues
  • A corridor wide project-oriented traffic and construction approach

Slide 19

Title: Traffic Analysis: Michigan I-496 Project

Photo: Map of a Michigan city with an east-west highway marked as a current project under construction.

Slide 20

Title: TCP Development for PS&E

  • Traffic
  • Constructibility reviews
  • Contract methods
  • Materials and equipment

See NCHRP Synthesis 293

Slide 21

Title: Benefits

  • Efficient and cost effective construction
  • Minimize impact on road users, local businesses
  • Safer work zones
  • Special needs identified early

Slide 22

Title: Application

  • Most projects types and sizes
  • May have higher impact on projects with high traffic volumes
  • Concepts currently being tested
    • TRB Task Force A5T60, "Accelerating Innovation in the Highway Industry"
    • IPRF research project, "Traffic Management Studies for Reconstruction of High Volume Roadways"

Slide 23

Title: Application - TF A5T60

  • Accelerated Construction Technology Team (ACTT):
    • Corridor review
    • "Outside" experts visit state experts;
    • Share, learn, and promote new ideas
  • Two-day workshop with Indiana and Penn DOTs
  • Proposed use of innovation in twelve areas
  • Ultimately - DOT decides what is best for their project

Slide 24

Title: Application - Twelve Areas

  • Corridor improvements
  • Contracting and procurement techniques
  • Work zone traffic management
  • Stay out techniques
  • Constructibility
  • Geotechnology
  • Utility delays
  • Prefab/modular
  • High speed QA/QC
  • Workforce health and safety
  • Training and education
  • Communications of best practices

Slide 25

Title: Application - IPRF Project

  • Task 6 Conceptual Study
  • Workshops with DOT
  • Late in programming/early in design
  • Brainstorm traffic and construction issues
  • Recommend feasible alternatives
  • Current studies: a.) Mississippi DOT - I-55 South of Memphis; b.) Washington DOT - I-5 through Seattle

Slide 26

Title: Lessons Learned

  • Do not "set" design basis too early
  • Team approach enhances TCP development
  • Early involvement of traffic and construction expertise helps identify possible problems and solutions

Slide 27

Title: Conclusions

  • DOTs should be encouraged to follow concepts throughout TCP development
  • Constructibility reviews integral to TCP development
  • Team approach essential especially on larger projects

Slide 28

Thank you.

Are there any discussion questions?

Office of Operations