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Section 9: Traffic Control Plan

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Overview

This section describes elements typically designed by a roadway design engineer or traffic engineer. A traffic control plan consists of the following elements:

  • a sequence of construction plan
  • a detour plan (when required)
  • a temporary signing, striping and pavement marking plan
  • contract provisions.

Traffic control plans should clearly show provisions for safe and efficient operation of all modes of transportation during construction and safety of construction workers and inspection personnel. Coordination of work zone impacts on drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as local businesses and transit routes, is important to develop the best possible traffic control plan.

This section includes the following groups of tasks. The tasks are listed in approximate chronological order but may be performed concurrently.

  • Sequence of Work

5720. Finalize sequence of construction

  • Detour Plans

5730. Design detour roadways

5740. Obtain approval of road closure/detour plans

  • Temporary Signing, Striping, and Pavement Marking

5760. Prepare details for temporary signing, striping, and pavement marking

  • Contract Provisions

5780. Develop contract requirements

  • Review

5790. Review Traffic Control Plan

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Sequence of Work

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5720: Finalize sequence of construction

Description. Construction staging plans detail the recommended phasing of project improvements. Staging should maximize traffic operations and safety during construction, and should maximize construction worker safety, while considering ease of construction.

Detours may be required to maintain traffic during certain construction stages.

Detailed layout and arrangement of work zone signs, work zone pavement markings, traffic control devices, and drainage facilities should be provided for each construction stage.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects impacting the normal flow of traffic.

Responsible Party. Roadway design engineer or traffic engineer

Sub-tasks.

  • Obtain preliminary roadway, drainage, and traffic plans. Refer to plans prepared while planning the sequence of construction. (See 5040: Plan sequence of construction.)
  • Evaluate potential of construction impacts on existing traffic (e.g., pavement drop offs, work adjacent to travel lanes, lane closures).
  • Consider need for night time illumination of construction area.
  • Prepare written description of construction sequence (optional).
  • Coordinate with District Pavement Engineer to obtain temporary pavement designs.
  • Coordinate plans with appropriate district and area office staff to include design, construction, drainage, utilities, and traffic.

Helpful Suggestions.

  • Make sure that non-typical and transition areas are detailed. The designer should envision what the driver will see along the project.
  • Consider safe operation by pedestrians and bicyclists in all stages of construction. Construction markings, traffic control devices, and barriers should be designed with this goal.
  • Continuous safe access to all properties during construction is necessary. Staging must consider this need and plans must describe how this need will be met.
  • Consider incorporating the effects of utility adjustments performed during construction.

Resource Material.

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Detour Plans

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5730: Design detour roadways

Description. Detours may be required to maintain traffic during certain construction stages. Detours may include rerouting traffic to existing parallel routes, constructing temporary paved routes, or a combination thereof. Impacts to existing parallel routes and the capacity to handle additional traffic must be analyzed.

Detailed layout and arrangement of construction signs, construction pavement markings, traffic control devices, and drainage facilities should be provided for each detour. Plans should include horizontal and vertical alignment and cross sections, as appropriate.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects involving detours.

Responsible Party. Roadway design engineer

Sub-tasks.

  • Obtain preliminary roadway, drainage, and traffic plans. Refer to plans prepared while finalizing the sequence of construction. (See 5720: Finalize sequence of construction).
  • Prepare preliminary detour plans (see 5050: Develop conceptual detour/road closure plan). Determine horizontal and vertical alignments and typical cross sections. Determine right of way required, if any. Begin coordinating with local entities.
  • Coordinate detour plans with local entities and major traffic generators.
  • Evaluate impact on existing utilities. (e.g., access utility cover and clearances)
  • Coordinate with District Pavement Engineer to obtain temporary pavement designs.
  • Coordinate plans with appropriate district and area office staff to include design, construction, drainage, and traffic.
  • Prepare final detour plans.

Helpful Suggestions.

  • Make sure that non-typical and transition areas are detailed.
  • Consider safe operation by pedestrians and bicyclists in all stages of construction. Construction markings, traffic control devices, and barriers should be designed with this goal.
  • Consider impacts to existing, parallel facilities in addition to the roadway’s capacity to handle traffic. Consider impacts to schools, emergency vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and neighborhoods due to traffic rerouting.
  • Detours should be designed to operate at least at the existing posted speed whenever possible. When this cannot be accomplished, a construction speed zone request (See Form 1204) should be considered and the detour designed to meet the lowered construction speed limit.
  • Continuous safe access to all properties during construction is necessary. Staging and detour designs must consider this need, and plans should describe how the need will be met.

Critical Sequencing. Prepare detour designs and plans after the roadway, drainage, and traffic plans are substantially complete and the construction staging plan is developed.

Resource Material.

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5740: Obtain approval of road closure/detour plans

Description. Closing a roadway during construction may impact local entities, school districts, and the post office. Concurrence from entities having jurisdiction over affected roadways should be obtained. Coordinate with entities such as the post office, county, city, school district, major employers, and emergency vehicle response teams to minimize the impact of a road closure on the community.

On-system roadways should not be closed unless highly unusual circumstances exist.

Impacts to off-system roadways may result from completely closing a roadway to rehabilitate or replace a bridge or from using an off-system facility as a detour route for an on-system closure.

Refer to related information in task 5050: Develop conceptual detour/road closure plan.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects including a road closure (on- or off-system) or detour route on an existing off-system facility.

Responsible Party. Project manager

Sub-tasks.

  • Submit a closure request to the local entities through appropriate channels in the district.
  • Notify local post office, police, fire departments and school districts of road closure.
  • Document coordination with affected entities as follows:
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    Type of route to be closed

    Detouring to

    Documentation required

    off-system

    off- or on-system

    letter of concurrence signed by city and/or county officials

    on-system

    off-system

    executed agreement outlining the responsibilities of each party

    on-system

    on-system

    Return receipt or signature confirmation to document that notification was delivered to city and/or county officials (including post office, fire, police, EMS, and school district)



  • Prepare a map showing the location of the project site, the detour route including length and current physical condition, the amount of traffic (ADT), and the percentage of trucks using the road to be closed and on all roads used as a detour.
  • Send a road closure memorandum to the District Engineer for approval. Include the following in the memorandum:
    • road closure duration
    • recommendations to expedite project completion (i.e. calendar days, liquidated damages)
    • documentation of required notifications, concurrence letters and/or agreements
    • map prepared as described above
  • Submit district engineer’s approval to Design Division with PS&E package (see 5910: Submit PS&E package to Design Division) for letting.

Helpful Suggestions.

  • Allow enough lead time for approval of municipal actions.
  • Impacts to the traveling public due to detours may be calculated in the form of road user costs. If these impacts are substantial, a special provision may be included in the PS&E to require payment of increased liquidated damages by the contractor.

Critical Sequencing. Discussion and preliminary approval of road closure/detour plans should be initiated when a road closure or detour is first considered. Written approval should be obtained as soon as detour plans are completed to the point where road closure/detour timing can be reasonably defined.

Resource Material. TxDOT Plans, Specifications & Estimate Preparation Manual, Chapter 5, Section 3, Temporary Road Closure Request

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Temporary Signing, Striping, and Pavement Marking

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5760: Prepare details for temporary signing, striping, and pavement marking

Description. For detour routes on existing pavement and parallel routes, provide a detailed layout and arrangement of construction signs, construction pavement markings, traffic control devices (including temporary signals and signal heads), and drainage facilities. Dimension typical sections and plans both horizontally and vertically as necessary to result in a safe product.

Traffic control plans (TCP) detail how construction of project improvements will be accomplished. TCP should maximize traffic operations and safety, and should maximize construction worker safety during construction.

Details may be needed for parallel routes or shifted traffic on existing pavement. Night time work may also be specified.

TxDOT standard sheets should be used whenever possible because of contractor and inspector familiarity with these sheets.

Pertinent Project Types. All projects except those that are simple enough to be described using barricade and construction standards.

Responsible Party. Roadway design engineer

Sub-tasks.

  • Obtain construction staging and detour plans.
  • Determine the need for construction speed zoning and traffic control at intersections.
  • Coordinate plans with appropriate district and area office staff.
  • Prepare final traffic control plans.

Helpful Suggestions.

  • Make sure that non-typical and transition areas are detailed.
  • Consider safe operation by pedestrians and bicyclists in detailing the TCP. Design construction markings, traffic control devices, and barriers with this goal.

Resource Material.

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Contract Provisions

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5780: Develop contract requirements

Description. A traffic control plan may require developing specific contract requirements. These contract requirements may address the following subjects:

  • work hour restrictions
  • lane closure restrictions
  • access to work area
  • use of off-duty law enforcement personnel
  • accelerated construction provisions.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects impacting the normal flow of traffic.

Responsible Party. Roadway design engineer

Helpful Suggestions. Design Division and Traffic Operations Division Field Coordination personnel are available to provide assistance.

Resource Material.

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Review

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5790: Review traffic control plan

Description. Each district should have a District Safety Review Team (DSRT). The team should consist of district individuals having sufficient authority to implement, monitor, and review the application of safety techniques and strategies, including project traffic control plans. The team might include:

  • District Design Engineer
  • District Construction Engineer
  • District Traffic Engineer
  • District Maintenance Engineer
  • Area Engineer
  • a traffic safety coordinator.

The District Safety Review Team should review as many traffic control plans as practical, but more importantly, the team should be involved in the development process to eliminate the need for lengthy reviews.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects impacting the normal flow of traffic.

Responsible Party. Roadway design engineer

Resource Material.

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