The New York State Department of Transportation recently adopted seven work zone intrusion countermeasures to increase safety of the workers and driving public. Among these countermeasures adopted was the use of temporary rumble strips at work zones to alert drivers of an approaching work zone or a change in the driving pattern or highway condition. A literature search was performed, of past and ongoing research and use of temporary rumble strips in work zones, to verify that current specifications used by the Department are sufficient. In addition, several installations at contracted and maintenance work zones were examined to determine if our current specifications are appropriate or need refinement. Results of this study showed that the use of rumble strips at work zones is effective and should be continued. The Department’s specifications are within the accepted practices of other states that use rumble strips for this purpose.
These specifications should be modified to allow for variable spacing of the strips within a set and for the use of other types of rumble strips besides the types currently allowed. Sound engineering judgement should be used before placing them to ensure they are necessary and effective. Even though the rumble strips that were used at the maintenance work zones do not meet Department
standards, they are effective for the usual short duration of a maintenance operation. Minor modifications of these would improve their effectiveness without significantly increasing cost or installation time.