Traffic Management Plans: Minimising Disturbances in Road Construction Projects

June 6, 2019

Inside the confines of a trenching zone, cable and pipe installers do their best to get the work done in a timely fashion. The excavator operators come next, and they're also aware of all the turmoil they're creating. With the digging pulling up a hard asphalt roadway, a traffic bottleneck is imminent. But road construction projects can't wait forever, which is why contractors call upon traffic management plans.

Preliminary Bottleneck Minimising Strategies

Available from the outset, there are a few initial steps trenching foremen can take before pulling out a traffic management plan. One option involves little more than a scheduling change. By carrying out the work in the wee hours of the morning, there's no heavy traffic, so there's no vehicle congestion or long tailbacks of frustrated drivers to worry about. This option is appealing, but it can also become a logistical nightmare. There are generators and floodlights to transport and setup, plus the worrying fact that less traffic can equal fewer but faster cars.

Working Out the Early Details

Trenching companies pull on regulatory strings before they start road construction projects. There are talks to be conducted with the transportation department and local authorities. Permits are gained as the communications channels are formed, then the schedules are planned out. Passing on those work schedules to the relevant local authorities, signs go up and alternative routes are arranged. This is when the police traffic department gets an early call. It'll be their job to close lanes and plan out the street diversions. Meanwhile, signs and posters find their way to plainly visible highway stretches, where they're seen by every motorist. On those signs, all of the lane closure dates receive clear mention.

Traffic Management Plans are intelligently administered constructs. Think about the situation. While a trenching boss directs his team's efforts, traffic congestion issues are governed. Instead of carving out a road construction channel that covers an entire highway, the project is sectioned. Maybe half of the roadway is worked on over the course of the first two weeks of the job. For the last two weeks, that trench is closed so that traffic flows again. With that phase of the job done, the second half of the trench is exposed. On cue, the Department of Transportation and uniformed police officers funnel the traffic to the now completed side of the road. Essentially, the disturbance minimising aspect of the work is made possible by a planned implementation of non-contiguously excavated trenches. Because the excavation work is sequenced, it's that much easier to implement the various lane closures and traffic diversions.

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