U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration



Goals of the Work Zone Traffic Control Review

Word Version (56 kb) | PDF Version (20 kb)

Each year .......... staff, along with FHWA, perform Program Quality Reviews (PQR) in various program areas. This year, the area of work zone traffic control was selected for review. The goal of the review is to identify aspects of work zone traffic control, through discussions from field personnel, that work and aspects that need improvement. In addition, the effectiveness of .......... quality assurance program will be discussed to identify areas that work well and areas that need improvement. Input from these discussions will be used to improve project plans, specifications as well as .......... quality assurance procedures.

This review is not a compliance review. Instead, .......... Staff and FHWA have the goal to utilize the experiences from field personnel to improve the work zone traffic control program to best facilitate the safest environment possible for the traveling public.

1997 ........../FHWA Program Quality Review
Work Zone Traffic Control

Project Number: 
Prime Contractor: 
Traffic Control Contractor: 
Program Engineer: 
Resident Engineer: 
Project Engineer: 
% Work Complete: 
% Time Elapsed: 
Contract Amount: 

Members Of The Review Team

Staff Construction: 
Staff Traffic: 
Program Engineer: 
Regional Traffic Engineer: 
Resident Engineer: 
Project Engineer: 
Other Participants: 

Section I: Office Review

Method of Handling Traffic (MHT)

  1. Are the requirements for MHT's appropriate (i.e.: time for filing record, detailed diagram, review by prime contractor and .......... personnel, detail required, accuracy in following plan, etc)?:
  2. When and how is pedestrian access included in the MHT plans?
  3. How are .......... personnel trained to review and approve MHT's?

    What additional training is needed?

  4. How do .......... personnel review and approve MHT's?
  5. What aspects of the Traffic Control Plans (TCP's) work well on the project?

    How could they be improved.

  6. What difficulties where experienced in implementing detours on the project?

    How can they be improved?

  7. How is law enforcement involved in TCP/MHT discussions?
  8. How are accidents/incidents handled on the project?

Inspection & Maintenance of Traffic Control Devices (TCD's)

  1. What techniques are being used to ensure that project traffic control devices:
    1. are clean and in good condition?
    2. are in the appropriate location & legend?
    3. are the correct size and are installed at the correct height
  2. How could the specifications be improved to ensure that TCD's are appropriately maintained on the project (signing, sign posts, cones, drums, etc)?
  3. What is the frequency and scope of night inspections on the project?
  4. What problems have been encountered with the traffic control features during at night operations?

    What improvements could be made to make them more effective?

Project Traffic Control Supervisor/Traffic Control Inspection (TCS/TCI)

  1. What aspects of the project specifications concerning the TCS/TCI are working well?

    How could the specification be improved?

  2. What aspects of the new TCI specification have been beneficial?

    How could the specification be improved?

  3. What process is used to ensure that TCS/TCI inspections are accordance with project specifications (frequency, coverage, etc.)?

    How are deficiencies corrected?


  1. Are flaggers adequately trained?

    What additional training is needed?

  2. Are there any problems with the proctor certification program for flaggers?
  3. How are "relief breaks" paid for on the project?
  4. What aspect of flagger usage is inappropriate?

Variable Message Signs

  1. How are variable message signs used on the project?
  2. What messages are useful?
  3. How many panels per cycle appears to be most effect?
  4. Does .......... or the contractor author the messages on the sign?
  5. What maintenance problems have been experienced with the signs?
  6. What methods are used to protect/delineate the signs along the roadside?

Pavement Markings

  1. Are existing pavement markings sufficiently removed for traffic shifts?
  2. Are conflicting pavement markings a problem?

General Safety Questions

  1. Have you used the new guidelines for reduction of speed limits?

    How do they work?

  2. How is the clear zone determined for the project?
  3. What steps are taken to adequately protect from hazards that are in the clear zone such as the contractors equipment and materials, pavement drop-offs, etc?

    How could the specification be improved to keep the clear zone safe?

  4. How is the contractor protecting workers in the work zone?
  5. How is concrete barrier used on the project?

    How are the upstream ends protected from traffic (sand barrels, GREATCZ, TMA's etc)?

In General

  1. What is working well?
  2. What is working poorly?
  3. How can the .......... Headquarters and the Region improve?
  4. What new technologies are you using on your projects?

Section II: Field Review

Items noted during office review

Sample Transmittal Memorandum

DATE: November 2, 1997


TO: Quality Improvement Council

SUBJECT: Construction - Annual Program Quality Review (PQR) for 1997 on Work Zone Traffic Control

PQR FOCUS: The subject PQR was designed to identify aspects of work zone traffic control that work well and aspects that could be improved through discussions with field personnel. This PQR was initiated to satisfy the requirements of 23 CFR part 630 and as a means to find ways to improve the work zone traffic control aspect of ..........'s construction program. The review included discussions about project plans, M&S standards, specifications, as well as the contractor's and ..........'s quality control and quality assurance procedures.


Core members of the review:

Other people that assisted in conducting the review:

DATES AND LOCATIONS: The subject PQR consisted of visiting 11 projects thought out the state. The projects selected for the review were intended to give a good cross-section of the various types of projects encountered by .......... The following table summarizes the specific projects visited as part of this review:

1997 ........../FWHA Program Quality Review
Work Zone Traffic Control

PRQ # Date Time Reg. Project # RE PE
1May 7 1:00 p.m.2   
2June 4 8:00 a.m.6   
3June 11 8:00 a.m.6   
4June 17 9:00 a.m.5   
5June 18 8:00 a.m.3   
6June 25 9:30 a.m.3   
7July 9 9:30 a.m.2   
8July 16 1:00 p.m.1   
9July 23 9:00 a.m.4   
10August 6 9:00 a.m.1   
11July 12 10:00 a.m.4   

RESULTS: The work zone traffic control PQR resulted in several findings and recommendations which are detailed below.

  • Finding:
  • Recommendation:
  • Responsible Office: Staff Construction and Staff Traffic

FUTURE REVIEWS: To be determined. However, given the recommendation in item one, it is expected that the next work zone traffic control PQR will not be for another three or four years.



Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000