Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 49-04. Very Short Duration Work Zone Safety for Maintenance and other Activities

Very short duration work zone (VSDWZ) activities are those activities not defined in the MUTCD under short duration work zone or temporary traffic control (TTC) zones. These activities are usually 1-20 minutes long and include maintenance activities (such as temporary patching, picking up debris or placing traffic count tubes) where TTC is not set up. VSDWZ reduce the exposure of workers and the inconvenience to traffic that standard TTC would create. At present, the policies and practices in place between 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 (speed, AADT, number of lanes). Historically, during those activities, a large number of worker fatalities have occurred. The objective of the proposed study is to synthesize the current state of practice on the selection and set-up of VSDWZ where the traffic control set up may take longer than the actual maintenance or very short duration activities. The state of practice review should identify factors that avoid work-zone injuries and fatalities. The synthesis will seek to identify current practices and lessons learned in the following areas (note this is not an all-inclusive list): Road or roadside activities considered very short duration; Thresholds for use of VSDWZ; Current practices at different agencies for very short duration road or roadside activities to minimize workers’ exposure; Innovative practices or new emerging technologies being used for these activities to reduce exposure; Innovative practices or new emerging technologies being used for increasing visibility and safety while conducting the activity; Current agency’s experience with use of different type of equipment, signage and set-ups; Current review of work-zone set up practices by agencies for conducting very short duration maintenance activities; Practices that have been changed due to crash, injury and/or fatalities; Training; and OSHA considerations ( general duty clause). Information (including from International sources) will be gathered by literature review, a survey of state departments of transportation (DOTs), selected local agencies and Canadian Provinces and a short survey of contractors. Five case examples that highlight current effective practices and lessons learned will also be included in the synthesis.


  • English


  • Status: Programmed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 49-04

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Theiss, LuAnn

  • Start Date: 20171003
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41608

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01634822
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 49-04
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 17 2017 1:01AM