The National Academies

NCHRP 17-17(2) [Completed]

Development of Guidelines for Nighttime Road Work to Improve Safety and Operations

  Project Data
Funds: $221,989
Research Agency: The Last Resource, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Douglas J. Mace
Effective Date: 10/1/2000
Completion Date: 4/30/2004

Background: Work zones pose safety problems for both motorists and workers. While work zones result in significant amounts of congestion and associated delay, lead to accidents and related losses, cause adverse impacts on communities and business, and increase driver frustration, the need to construct new highway facilities, preserve existing roadways, and perform maintenance make work zones unavoidable. Growth in traffic volume has led many agencies to defer road work activities to off-peak hours to avoid congestion. Nighttime work, however, raises additional safety problems. Some guidance and minimum requirements for dealing with these situations are provided in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), but these are not considered sufficient for the planning, design, implementation, and operation of road work at night. Project 17-17 developed guidelines for nighttime road work to improve safety and operations and also developed procedures to facilitate making decisions about undertaking nighttime work.

Objective: The objectives of this project are to (a) enhance the guidelines for nighttime road work to improve safety and operations, (b) conduct additional case studies to verify the applicability and demonstrate the flexibility of the procedures, and (c) develop a fully self-contained training package to introduce the Procedures and Guidelines.

Tasks: To accomplish these objectives, the following tasks are envisioned: (1) Enhance the guidelines with the addition of photographs and/or drawings of typical applications and innovative devices. (2) Add staging figures to identify best practices for placement and pickup of traffic control systems for night work. (3) Develop a comprehensive index of the guidelines to facilitate its use. (4) Conduct at least six case studies of the procedures jointly with state or local highway agencies. These case studies are to validate the applicability and demonstrate the flexibility of the procedures for different geographic regions, highway types, nighttime roadwork activities, and other factors. (5) Document the results of the case studies and revise the procedures to clarify and improve their applicability. Results should include comparisons between the agency's decision making process and the procedures. (6) Identify night work projects for site visits to obtain photographs and video. (7) Prepare draft instructor and participant materials. (8) Conduct pilot training sessions. (9) Prepare final course materials.

Status: The project is completed.

Product Availability: The Procedures Manual has been published as NCHRP Report 475, and the Guidelines have been published as NCHRP Report 476. A summary of project results has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 293, and training materials (including MS PowerPoint presentations, MS Word instructor notes, and Windows Media Player videos) have been published as CRP-CD-50.

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