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Very Short Duration Work Zone Safety for Maintenance and Other Activities A Synthesis of Highway Practice LuAnn Theiss Gerald L. Ullman Texas a&M TransporTaTion insTiTuTe The Texas a&M universiTy sysTeM College Station, TX 2019 Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Subscriber Categories Highways â¢ Maintenance and Preservation â¢ Safety and Human Factors N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCHRP SYNTHESIS 533
Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCHRP SYNTHESIS 533 Project 20-05, Topic 49-04 ISSN 0547-5570 ISBN 978-0-309-48026-0 Library of Congress Control Number 2019937870 Â© 2019 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Cover photo: MnDOT Debris Plow Cover photo credit: MnDOT NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed, and implementable research is the most effective way to solve many problems facing state departments of transportation (DOTs) administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local or regional interest and can best be studied by state DOTs individually or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transporta- tion results in increasingly complex problems of wide interest to high- way authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. Recognizing this need, the leadership of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1962 ini- tiated an objective national highway research program using modern scientific techniquesâthe National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). NCHRP is supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of AASHTO and receives the full cooperation and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of Transportation. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was requested by AASHTO to administer the research program because of TRBâs recognized objectivity and understanding of modern research practices. TRB is uniquely suited for this purpose for many reasons: TRB maintains an extensive com- mittee structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; TRB possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, univer- sities, and industry; TRBâs relationship to the National Academies is an insurance of objectivity; and TRB maintains a full-time staff of special- ists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those in a position to use them. The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators and other staff of the highway and transportation departments, by committees of AASHTO, and by the Federal Highway Administration. Topics of the highest merit are selected by the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation (R&I), and each year R&Iâs recommendations are proposed to the AASHTO Board of Direc- tors and the National Academies. Research projects to address these topics are defined by NCHRP, and qualified research agencies are selected from submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Academies and TRB. The needs for highway research are many, and NCHRP can make significant contributions to solving highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement, rather than to substitute for or duplicate, other highway research programs.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP SYNTHESIS 533 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Mariela Garcia-Colberg, Staff Officer Cheryl Keith, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Hilary Freer, Senior Editor NCHRP PROJECT 20-05 PANEL Brian A. Blanchard, Florida DOT, Tallahassee, FL (Chair) Stuart D. Anderson, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Socorro Briseno, California DOT, Sacramento, CA David M. Jared, Georgia DOT, Forest Park, GA Cynthia L. Jones, Ohio DOT, Columbus, OH Malcolm T. Kerley, NXL, Richmond, VA John M. Mason, Jr., Auburn University, Auburn, AL Roger C. Olson, Minnesota DOT, Bloomington, MN (retired) Benjamin T. Orsbon, South Dakota DOT, Pierre, SD Randall R. Park, Utah DOT, Salt Lake City, UT Robert L. Sack, New York State DOT, Albany, NY Francine Shaw Whitson, FHWA, Washington, DC Joyce N. Taylor, Maine DOT, Augusta, ME Jack Jernigan, FHWA Liaison Stephen F. Maher, TRB Liaison TOPIC 49-04 PANEL Anita K. Bush, Nevada DOT, Carson City, NV Yong Kwon Cho, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA Brad W. Darr, North Dakota DOT, Bismarck, ND Sheila M. Johnson, Minnesota DOT, St. Paul, MN David Rush, Virginia DOT, Richmond, VA Craig Ruyle, NYSDOT Region 10, Hauppauge, NY Tony Tavares, California DOT, Sacramento, CA Morgan Kessler, FHWA Liaison Jawad Paracha, FHWA Liaison James W. Bryant, Jr., TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, a member of The Texas A&M University System. The authors would like to acknowledge the NCHRP panel members for their contribution to the success of this research.
ABOUT THE NCHRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day- to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evalu ating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State High- way and Transportation Officialsâthrough the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Programâauthorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Project 20-05, âSynthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Mariela Garcia-Colberg Staff Officer Transportation Research Board Very short duration work zone (VSDWZ) activities are those activities not defined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) under short duration work zone or temporary traffic control (TTC) zones. These activities are usually 1 to 20 minutes long and include maintenance activ- ities (e.g., performing temporary patching, picking up debris, or placing traffic count tubes) where TTC is not set up. VSDWZ activities reduce the exposure of workers to risk and the inconvenience to traffic that standard TTC zones would create. Current policies and practices in place at various agencies for VSDWZ activities vary substantially. The work-zone setup also varies by the type of maintenance or other very short duration activity and roadway classification (e.g., speed, AADT, and number of lanes). Historically, during those activities, a large number of worker fatalities have occurred. This synthesis, prepared by LuAnn Theiss and Gerald L. Ullman from Texas A&M Transportation Institute, identifies the current state of practice among state DOTs regarding selection and setup of VSDWZ. The report presents a literature review and results of a survey of state DOTs. Forty-one completed responses were received from the 50 agencies in the survey sample, a response rate of 82%. Case examples of four state DOTs are provided; these present an in-depth analysis of the VSDWZ policies of these states. The case example agencies have developed specific guidance on the topic for their jurisdictions. This synthesis report will be extremely useful to state agencies as they review their current practices regarding VSDWZ and assess what changes to their current procedures they can implement in their practices. Members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions. 1 Summary 3 Chapter 1 Introduction 3 Background 3 Synthesis Scope and Methods 4 Report Organization 5 Chapter 2 Literature Review 5 Existing MUTCD Guidelines 6 Canadian Guidelines 6 Research Efforts 11 Summary 12 Chapter 3 State DOT Practices and Experiences 12 Maintenance Activities 13 Very Short Duration Work Zone Policies 17 Temporary Traffic Control Decision-Making Support 23 TTC Selection Hazards 25 New Technologies 29 Worker Incidents in VSDWZs 30 Addressing VSDWZs in Worker Training Programs 30 Summary 32 Chapter 4 Case Examples 32 Case Example #1: Washington State DOT 36 Case Example #2: Florida DOT 37 Case Example #3: Maine DOT 40 Case Example #4: Minnesota DOT 45 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Suggestions for Future Research 45 Conclusions 45 Suggestions for Future Research 46 References 49 Abbreviations/Acronyms A-1 Appendix A Survey Questionnaire B-1 Appendix B List of Survey Respondents C-1 Appendix C Survey Responses C O N T E N T S