Safety of work zones is a major area of concern since it is not always possible to maintain a level of safety comparable to that of a normal highway not under construction. Proper traffic control is critical to the safety of work zones. However, traffic control devices themselves may pose a safety hazard when impacted by errant vehicles. The impact performance of many work zone traffic control devices is mostly unknown and little, if any, crash testing has been conducted in accordance with guidelines set forth in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350. (2) The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), through its research program, has sponsored a number of studies in recent years to develop safer traffic control devices for use in maintenance and construction work zones. Many of these research projects were developed by TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division through a partnering relationship with the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Texas and the Texas Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA). These studies, conducted at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), assessed the impact performance of various work zone traffic control devices, including plastic drums and sign substrates, temporary and portable sign supports, plastic cones, vertical panels and barricades. (3-9) The results, findings, conclusions and recommendations from these studies on the impact performance of various work zone traffic control devices are presented in two papers due to the large volume of materials. This paper covers temporary and portable sign supports, plastic drums, sign substrates for use with plastic drums, traffic cones, and vertical panels, while a second paper covers barricades.
Publication Date: January 1998
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Topics: Cones; Crash Tests; Drums; Sign Supports; Temporary Traffic Control; Traffic Control Devices; Vertical Panels