Focus on Congestion Relief

Congestion Reduction Toolbox:
Better Work Zones

Work Zone Management

highway work zone

Work zones are a necessary part of maintaining and upgrading our aging highway system. The combination of more work zones and heavier traffic volumes means work zones are having a greater effect on roadway systems. Unlike congestion caused by routine heavy traffic during daily peak travel periods, non-recurring events generally result in unexpected travel delays. Work zones account for more than 480 million vehicle hours of delay. Aggressively anticipating and mitigating congestion caused by highway work zones is one area that can have a positive impact on relieving congestion. Real solutions come from fundamental changes in the way projects are planned, estimated, designed, bid, and finally, constructed.

The updated Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule focuses on state and local agency-level work zone policy to institutionalize work zone processes and procedures that consider work zone effects throughout the project delivery process, aiming for a reduction of congestion during construction projects. The Highways for Long-lasting, Innovative, Fast construction of Efficient (HfL) and safe pavements and bridges pilot program as outlined in SAFETEA-LU is meant to accelerate the adoption of innovations and technologies, thereby improving safety and highway quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. FHWA is highlighting congestion reduction strategies in construction zones through assisting states in achieving compliance with the work zone safety and mobility rule and through the Highways for LIFE pilot program.

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