FHWA looks to amend work-zone safety rules

News AASHTO Journal May 22, 2003
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The Federal Highway Administration issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking as it looks to amend its work-zone safety r


The Federal Highway Administration issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking as it looks to amend its work-zone safety rules for the first time since the 1970s. State departments of transportation have until Sept. 4 to submit any comments.


Meanwhile, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials and the Standing Committee on Highways has formed the Work Zone Policy Task Force to address the proposed rules. It will hold its first meeting May 28-29 during the annual Spring Meeting at the Radisson Hotel in Lexington, Ky.


FHWA's announcement in the May 7 Federal Register cited, "increased road construction, growing traffic, increased crashes and public frustration with work zones," as the reason for the proposed rule change.


State DOTs will be asked to perform the following on federal-aid highway projects: develop and adopt work-zone safety and mobility policies; conduct work-zone impacts analysis during project development to better understand individual project characteristics and the associated work-zone impacts; develop transportation management plans in accordance with their policies and impact statements; and become more creative and performance-oriented in their procurement process through method or performance-based contracting.


FHWA estimates 12.8% of the nation's highway system is under construction during the summer roadwork season, leading to 3,110 work zones with 1,079 fatalities and 40,000 injuries in these areas in 2001.


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