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Traffic Control Planning: Components of a plan

Youness-plan-components-102014In our previous post, we discussed an overview of why traffic control planning is so important for the safety and well-being of the contractor and public.  Now, in this post, we’ll talk about the components of the traffic control plan as they apply to the mainline roadway, cross roads, side road entrances and intersections.

  1. The need for temporary drainage devices and staged construction should be shown on the plans.
  2. Temporary pavement markings for diversions and transitions should be noted on the plans.
  3. The typical section of each work zone phase is provided for all roadway projects except milling and resurfacing, or simple intersection improvements. The typical section includes lane widths, offsets to warning devices or barriers, and the construction area. A good typical section is one of the most effective tools in preparing quality traffic control plans.
  4. The location of all advance work zone signs, warning signs and lighting units should be identified on the plans.
  5. The location of temporary barriers and crash cushions should be shown on the plans.
  6. Channelizing devices such as detours, transitions, gore areas or other unusual maneuvers.
  7. Variable message signs (VMS), arrow boards and temporary signals can be costly. The engineer must establish the appropriate location based on sight distance restrictions, advance warning needs and potential conflicts with other signs.
  8. VMS messages must be developed by the designer with input from the contractor. It is important for the message to be clear and concise, conveying a simple message.
  9. The designer must show the location and geometry for all transitions and detours. This would include taper rates for transitions and curve radii, Point of Tangent (P.T.), Point of Curve (P.C.) for detours.
  10. The proposed regulatory speed must be shown in the plans for each phase of work.
  11. The appropriate quantities, pay items and pay item notes must be provided to further define the work and the proposed method of payment.
  12. The designer must address all anticipated conflicts between permanent signing and markings and work zone signing and markings.
  13. The design should also address any other key strategies that are used. These may include: the use of police for speed enforcement or other duties; wrecker services to improve response, especially in restricted areas (such as bridges); Highway Advisory Radio (HAR); and night work.

There may be other components of a plan to consider, based on project specifications. It’s critical for public safety to be sure all aspects of the plan are considered carefully and discussed with the appropriate stakeholders in the project.

In my next post, I’ll talk about developing guidelines for the use of traffic control barricades, and provide some suggestions on how to approach them.

About the author

Bob is our account executive in the Government market. He has nearly four decades of experience in municipal engineering and development in rural areas, small towns and larger cities. He brings a wealth of expertise to help provide ideas that lead to long-term solutions for our clients.