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
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.
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.
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.