Drivers who have to go through a construction zone may find that it is frustrating and dangerous to do so. There is a risk of debris on the roads that could lead to blown tires and sudden braking. There is a risk that a worker could enter the roadway unexpectedly or that a large piece of machinery may need to be moved into the road while causing traffic congestion.
For drivers, the reality is that a construction zone is rarely safe and often intimidating. Other drivers may feel rushed, panicked, angry or anxious as they attempt to avoid traffic cones and cement barriers in lanes squeezed as small as possible to make room for work.
That’s why every construction project should have a traffic maintenance plan. A good traffic maintenance plan helps ensure that those driving through the construction zone, not just the workers, are kept as safe as possible.
What’s included in a good traffic maintenance plan?
A good traffic maintenance plan will consider the safety of construction workers, but it will also think about how drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists could be impacted by the construction.
With a traffic maintenance plan, the construction team may be placed on a night schedule when traffic is slower, or the entire project may be shifted to the shoulder to make more room for drivers. Flaggers, signage, cones and other tools may be added to the plan to keep traffic moving safely.
In a good traffic maintenance plan, you’ll have:
- An advance warning area in which motorists are warned about upcoming changes in traffic patterns, such as a reduction to a single lane
- A transition area where traffic may merge or split into different lanes of travel
- An activity area, which is where construction teams are actively working
- The termination area, which should include another traffic taper to build back up to a normal traffic flow
Construction zones are dangerous for multiple reasons, but having the right traffic maintenance plan in place helps prevent collisions and ensure the safety of everyone in the area. If that plan is not set up correctly or workers don’t abide by it, then car crashes could result.