For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation

Fact Sheet

March 8, 2005

Strategies to Reduce Traffic Delays in Work Zones

ODOT engineers and policy makers work hard to reduce construction-related traffic delays. These strategies are identified during the planning stages of a project so the department can help avoid or reduce congestion and ease driver stress.

Nighttime Paving or Weekend Work
ODOT often limits lane closures to off-peak hours, including nighttime and weekends, when far fewer motorists are using the roadway.

Two-Lanes During Daylight Hours on Interstates
Ohio requires contractors to maintain at least two lanes of traffic in each direction on the interstate during peak travel times. Exceptions are granted only under extraordinary circumstances.

Bridge Widening and Temporary Pavement
ODOT often widens bridges and adds temporary pavement on highways prior to construction to keep at least two lanes open in each direction during construction.

Permitted Lane Closure Guidelines
ODOT restricts lane and ramp closures to certain times of day based on traffic volumes in a given area. Closures made outside the guidelines require ODOTs district offices to take extra measures to keep traffic moving.

Incentive/Disincentive Contracts
ODOT includes financial incentives and disincentives in its contracts to reward contractors for completing work early and assess fees to contractors for delays.

Longer Work Hours
On projects with significant traffic impacts, ODOT often pays the contractor for more crews and/or longer work hours or work weeks.

Delay Thresholds
ODOT uses computer software to predict the probability of backups in construction work zones. Traffic backups more than 3/4 of a mile that require motorists to wait more than 10 minutes are considered unacceptable, and ODOTs district offices must implement strategies to keep traffic moving.

Incident Management Practices
ODOT often employs tow trucks and vehicles equipped with push bumpers, either on site or on call, to quickly remove incidents such as accidents, stalls, and breakdowns in construction work zones. These incidents cripple traffic flow in work zones.

Construction Communication Plans
ODOT works with local motorists and businesses to educate and prepare them for construction. Advanced notification and preparation can help minimize backups.