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1999 Inspection-In-Depth Guideline for Maintenance of Traffic Through Construction Work Zones

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Project Information

Project Number: 
Inspection Made By: 
In Company With: 
Date Of Inspection: 
% Percent Work Complete: 
% Percent Time Elapsed: 

Scope Of The Inspection

The purpose of this inspection is to determine the adequacy, in regard to safety, of the maintenance of traffic through construction work zones. This determination is made by:

  1. Reviewing the traffic control devices and general roadway conditions through the construction work zones.
  2. Reviewing the project records relative to maintenance of traffic.
  3. Discussions with the project and/or the contractor's personnel responsible for maintenance of traffic.

Prior to making the inspection, the reviewer/review team should become familiar with the project's traffic control plan, maintenance of traffic bid items, the applicable special provisions and specifications and supplemental specifications. It is also advisable to review Part VI of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and the Department's traffic control manual entitled, Traffic Control for Street and Highway Construction and Maintenance Operations - November 1994 .

Project Office Review

  1. Has a "responsible person in charge" (RPIC) of traffic control for the Department and the contractor been formally designated at the preconstruction conference or prior to the beginning of the construction work?

    Who are these individuals and what are their positions on the project?

    1. State's RPIC


    2. Contractor's RPIC


    Are these designations documented in the project files?


    What percent of each RPIC's time is spent on maintenance of traffic?

  2. Are these persons still functioning as RPIC?

    What formal training (FHWA course, ITE course or other course) has each received in the maintenance of traffic through construction work zones?

    Name of RPICCourse TypeDate Completed
  3. If a RPIC has not been formally designated as required, or if an individual other than the designated RPIC is in charge of assuring adequate maintenance of traffic, comment on their training and experience, and the amount of time spent on maintenance of traffic. Discuss why the RPIC has not been formally designated and/or why he/she is not doing the job.
  4. Discuss with the Project Engineer/Supervisor and the RPICs the adequacy of the traffic control plan in the project plans, the adequacy of the maintenance of traffic bid items, and positive and negative comments regarding the current procedures (specifications and pay items) utilized to assure adequate maintenance of traffic. Comment as necessary.
  5. Have any changes been made in the traffic control plan?

    If so, have they been approved by Traffic Engineering?

    If they have not been approved, why not?

    Comment on what they are and the reasons they were made.

    If any changes in the Traffic Control Plan have been proposed by the contractor and later approved, comment on their merit for providing an improvement in the maintenance of traffic.

  6. Have any reviews been made of the traffic controls during darkness and are they documented in the project files?

    What has been the frequency?

    Have they resulted in any findings of significant deficiencies?


    What changes have resulted?

  7. Pick a representative date when there was a reasonable amount of construction activity and review all appropriate documentation for the maintenance of traffic pay items. Begin with the Inspector's Daily Report (IDR) and continue through its inclusion on the monthly estimates and comment.

Field Inspection

  1. Comment on the overall, general flow of traffic through the project.

    Is traffic flowing reasonably well or are excessive delays and possible confusion noted?

    Is there clear, positive guidance to motorists throughout the project, including detours?

  2. Comment on the condition of the roadway surface on which traffic is being maintained. Is it acceptable?
  3. Comment on overall traffic safety, considering both hazards to the traveling public, as well as, hazards to the contractor's or State personnel which are caused by the traveling public or construction operations.

    If temporary guardrail or concrete median barrier is being used, comment on its application. Is it needed in areas where it is being used?

  4. Are all signs being used for Maintenance of Traffic acceptable in accordance with the applicable requirements?
    A. Size 
    B. Location 
    C. Mounting Height 
    D. Clean, Visible and Legible 
    E. Reflectorized 
    F. Application Consistency Throughout Project 
    G. Covered or Removed When Not Applicable 
  5. Are all barricades and channelization devices being used for Maintenance of Traffic considered acceptable in accordance with the applicable requirements?
    A. Number and Placement 
    B. Size 
    C. Clean, Visible and Legible 
    D. Reflectorized 
    E. Properly constructed and anchored to remain in place, but also to not present a hazard to the traveling public. 
    F. Consistency in Application Throughout the Project 
  6. Are pavement striping, raised pavement markings, post-mounted delineators and other delineating devices used for the Maintenance of Traffic considered acceptable?


    Are they visible, consistent and not confusing?

  7. Are lighting devices being used for Maintenance of Traffic considered acceptable?
    A. Flashing Lights on Advance Warning Signs 
    B. Steady Burn Lights used in a series to delineate direction 
    C. Advance Flashing Warning Arrows located properly for visibility and safety.
    (Are they dimmed to 50% brightness at night?)
    D. Are all lights being properly maintained? 
  8. Are proper procedures and equipment being used at all flagging operations?
  9. On projects of average to above average complexity with at least moderate traffic volumes, serious consideration should be given to making a field review of the Maintenance of Traffic devices during darkness. Was a review made during darkness? Comment.
Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000