Full Road Closure for Work Zone Operations: A Cross-Cutting Study – Reducing Congestion and Crashes through Full Road Closure for Maintenance and ConstructionAbstract:
The increasing need to repair and maintain rapidly deteriorating infrastructure and the need to supply some additional roadway capacity lead to more work zones. Transportation agencies are challenged to balance the increasing need for work zones with mobility and safety concerns expressed by the public and government agencies. Full road closure is one method that transportation agencies are giving increased consideration to during project planning and design, as a potential way to balance these conflicting needs. State highway agencies have used full road closure successfully on a variety of project types ranging from full-depth reconstruction to bridge joint replacement with guard rail enhancements. The projects examined during this research effort had varying characteristics and reasons for using full road closure, while achieving similar positive results. Project personnel interviewed felt that full road closure was able to improve the road rehabilitation process, creating efficiencies that reduced project duration and in some cases overall costs, while improving safety. A consistent theme was the positive public sentiment that resulted from the use of full road closure.