FHWA publishes work-zone impact assessment guide

New guide serves as resource for work-zone impact assessment

News AASHTO Journal January 19, 2007
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The Federal Highway Administration has published a guide to serve as a resource for work-zone impact assessment. "Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects" is available online at www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/
final_rule/wzi_guide/index.htm.

Work-zone impact assessment is the process of understanding and managing the safety and mobility impacts of a road construction, maintenance or rehabilitation project. Assessing work-zone impacts is important for developing effective transportation-management plans that provide for safety, mobility and quality while maintaining, rehabilitating and rebuilding our highways.

The guide presents a general approach for work-zone impact assessment, mirroring the typical program-delivery process of transportation agencies. It also provides examples of how agencies are currently assessing and managing work-zone impacts, as well as an overview of different traffic-analysis tools that can be used for analysis of work-zone effects.

The guide is written to be a helpful reference for conducting a work-zone impact assessment for a wide range of projects. The basic principles presented in the guide can be applied to any type of project. Some of the more in-depth or detailed analysis may be most appropriate for complex projects and projects likely to cause relatively greater work-zone effects. Agencies can use this guidance as a general framework to update or develop their own work-zone impact-assessment process.

The basic process steps discussed in the guide for the different program delivery stages may seem identical; however the work-zone impact-related topics or issues are specific to the level of information and project detail that progressively becomes available from one stage to another.

The guide includes some repetition and many cross-references between chapters to facilitate its use as a reference document. Someone who refers primarily to the chapter pertaining to his or her role (for example, as a designer) should be able see how that step relates to the rest of the process.

The guide is intended to help transportation agencies in their efforts to make work zones work better, and is the last of four guides to assist agencies with implementing the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Rule (23 CFR 630 Subpart J). The other guides are available in hard copy, and printed copies of the impacts guide will be available in about six weeks. To request hard copies of any of these publications, send an email to [email protected] with your name, mailing address and number of copies desired.

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