Section 3: Traffic Control Plan

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Construction or Work Phase Requirements

Each work zone must have designated contractor and Department representatives charged with the responsibility of managing work zone safety.

The District Responsible Person (DRP) will:

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  • make routine inspections to determine if project traffic control is in compliance with the plans and specifications and the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD), ATSSA Quality Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control Devices and Features, TxDOT Standard Sheets, AASHTO Roadside Design Guide, and the Compliant Work Zone Traffic Control Device List;
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  • communicate all pertinent work zone requirements to the contractor in the preconstruction meeting;
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  • ensure formal inspections are conducted using Form 599, “Traffic Control Devices Inspection Checklist,” following the instructions outlined on the form;
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  • ensure all Transportation Management Plan (TMP) strategies identified on Form 2229 are properly deployed in the work zone;
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  • notify the contractor of discrepancies at the time of inspection or by the end of the next business day;
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  • ensure the flagger instructor’s information is on Form 2795;
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  • upon request or audit a list of flaggers trained to perform flagging duties or contractors employees’ certification of completion in accordance with Section, “Training,” should be made available;
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  • ensure that contractor-developed traffic control training, when used, complies with the requirements of Section and any associated special provisions;
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  • have authority to halt work until applicable or remedial safety measures are taken;
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  • report changes needed to the Area or Project Engineer;
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  • document any major changes to the TCP and provide signed and sealed copies to the contractor;
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  • assist in work zone accident reviews; and
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  • coordinate with and assist the Public Information Officer (PIO) with information required for implementation of public information strategies for which the contractor is not responsible.

In accordance with the contract, the Contractor Responsible Person (CRP) will:

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  • upon receipt of the 599 take immediate corrective action for Priority 1 deficiencies and take corrective actions for Priority 2 deficiencies within 7 calendar days of notification;
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  • be accessible by phone and able to respond to emergencies 24 hours per day and have employees able to begin taking corrective measures within 30 minutes;
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  • report traffic control device deficiencies to the DRP;
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  • assist the DRP in conducting traffic control device inspections;
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  • report corrections of traffic control device deficiencies to the DRP; and
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  • make all reasonable efforts to promptly contact the Engineer if a critical situation arises that may require a change in traffic control.

The District Traffic Control Coordinator (TCC) will:

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Phase Change Inspections and Documentation

The DRP will perform an inspection of traffic control in the field immediately after:

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Formal Inspections and Procedures

The DRP will perform formal inspections of all traffic control devices twice a month at approximately 2-week intervals. Conduct at least one of these inspections at night as soon as possible after the initial set-up for projects with overnight traffic control. Provide the CRP the opportunity to accompany Department staff on these inspections.

Tailor formal inspections to be in compliance with the contract documents. These inspections may include but are not limited to the following.

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  • Traffic control devices must be effective, clearly visible, clean, and consistent with the TCP.
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  • Sign placement should be placed as shown in the TCP, with minor modifications for spacing visibility, preventing sign clutter, and understanding by motorists.
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  • Length of tapers, spacing of channelizing devices, and type of channelizing devices must be in compliance with TCP and Barricade and Construction (BC) standard sheets.
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  • Reflectivity and color characteristics of all traffic control devices must be as specified. Nighttime color of all signs must show the same shape and similar color both day and night. Refer to ATSSA Quality Guidelines.
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  • Cleanliness and position of all traffic control devices must be maintained to ensure the devices perform as intended.
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  • Work zone speed limits are implemented only with approval from the Commission. Work zone speed limit signs must be covered when the applicable conditions are not present in the work zone.
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  • All work zone devices (signs, drums with signs, barricades, etc.) must be used with approved supports and sign substrates, and installed in the correct position as shown on the BC standard sheets in order to be considered crashworthy.
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  • Traffic markings on the pavement surface must provide adequate guidance to motorists throughout the work zone. Non-applicable markings must be removed and replaced with temporary markings on long-term stationary operations. Obliterated pavement markings must not stand out or cause confusion to motorists.
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  • Work zone and existing permanent signs must be properly covered when the sign message is not currently applicable, and signs must not provide conflicting information. Signs may not be laid down. Sign spacing should follow TCP standards such that signs are not blocking each other or blocked by trees or other obstructions.
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  • Traffic control devices must convey consistent messages to motorists. For example, if the right lane is closed, the advance warning signs, striping, channelizing devices, temporary rumble strips, and arrow boards must be consistent with that situation.
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  • All contractor employees in the work zone must have proper high-visibility safety apparel.
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  • If approved, each Automated Flagger Assistance Device (AFAD) shall be operated by a qualified/certified flagger. Flaggers operating AFADs shall not leave them unattended while they are in use.
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  • Temporary rumble strips are used in lane closure setups and in advance of flagging stations for short duration and short-term stationary work on conventional highways.
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  • Arrow panels are used to denote lane closures. When space permits, arrow panels are placed on the shoulder of the road at the beginning of the merging taper.
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  • Truck mounted attenuators (TMAs) or trailer mounted attenuators (TAs) are used at least 30 feet in advance of the work area to protect both workers and the traveling public when barriers are not used.
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  • Portable changeable message signs and smart work zone setups are deployed and operated in accordance with contract plans and specifications. The BC standard sheets include a list of approved 2-phase messages.
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  • Pedestrian pathways or detours must be accessible in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards and as outlined in the Texas Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Temporary signs and other devices should not block pathways intended for pedestrian use.
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  • Barriers must have reflectors meet the requirements of BC sheets and are properly attenuated or flared away to the edge of the clear zone.
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  • Flaggers must have an unobstructed escape route in the event of an errant vehicle.

Deficiencies must be corrected in accordance with the instructions found on Form 599.

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Formal Inspection Documentation

Document compliance and deficiencies on Form 599 in accordance with the instructions on the reverse side of the form.

At the time of inspection, the Engineer will determine the priority of each deficiency. Priority 1 deficiencies are those deficiencies needing immediate corrective action due to imminent danger. For example, missing or illegible regulatory signs require immediate corrective action. Priority 2 deficiencies are deficiencies needing corrective action but pose minimal risk to the traveling public, e.g., slightly leaning or dirty traffic control devices.

In accordance with the ATSSA Quality Guidelines for Temporary Traffic Control Devices and Features, up to 25% marginal devices (signs, drums, cones, etc.) would be considered Priority 2 deficiencies. Any time greater than 25% of the devices are marginal, the replacement or cleaning of devices is considered a Priority 1 deficiency. Unacceptable devices are Priority 1 deficiencies.

Verify Form 599 has been completed.

Once the inspection is complete, the CRP must sign and date Form 599. Provide a signed copy to inform the contractor of corrective action needed. As the contractor corrects deficiencies, document on the original form the completion date for each, and initial the verification section.

Form 599 may be filled out electronically. Do not maintain (save) or distribute electronic versions.

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599 Disclosure

Immediately upon completion of Form 599, file the form and related documentation separate from the project files in a folder boldly labeled “DO NOT DISCLOSE - EXCEPTED FROM DISCLOSURE BY 23 U.S.C. 407.” Maintain separation by filing the folder at the District or the Area Office. Destroy additional copies of the form.

Immediately forward public information requests for copies of the form to the General Counsel Division (GCD) with copies of all completed contract forms for the affected contract(s). The Department must seek a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on each request for copies of Form 599.

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TCP Change Documentation

The Department is responsible for the design of the TCP and approval of any modifications. The contractor may propose TCP changes by providing signed and sealed sheets, but the Department must still approve the change. The contractor is responsible for implementing and maintaining the TCP. Provide the contractor with a copy of any revisions to the TCP.

Prior to or immediately after implementation, document changes that alter the original TCP shown in the plans or the sign and traffic control design requirements. The documentation requirements generally apply to project-specific TCPs and changes to the requirements of non-project-specific TCP standards; minor adjustments to meet practical placement requirements in the field do not necessarily require documentation. Place the documented changes to the TCP with the plans or in the contract files, as appropriate, and provide copies to the Department inspector and the CRP.

Changes to TCP plans sheets, sketches, and marked up copies of plan sheets are under the direct supervision of an Engineer and require signing, sealing, and dating. The Engineer’s written instructions to the field for the TCP changes require the Engineer’s Professional Engineer (PE) designation and the date. Refer to Chapter 16, Section 2 for more information regarding change orders that include changes to the TCP.

The change in TCP documentation requirements applies generally to project-specific TCPs and changes to non-project-specific TCP standards. Minor adjustments to meet practical placement requirements in the field do not necessarily require documentation. Place the documented changes to the TCP with the plans or in the files, as appropriate, and provide copies to inspectors and the contractor.

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Law Enforcement Usage

Law Enforcement is not considered a subcontractor due to providing a service. Compensation up to 5% maximum for administrative costs for coordinators is appropriate as they are usually police officers themselves and on-site.

A 1% markup for bond on off duty police officer force accounts is appropriate.

For additional information on law enforcement usage refer to the Work Zone Safety and Mobility Guidelines, Section 10 (internal access only).

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Highway Closures during Certain Periods (Transportation Code 224.034)

If a proposed improvement of the state highway system requires the closing of a highway, the Department will, before entering into a contract for the proposed improvement, coordinate the highway closure by working with your PIO and DE to communicate in person or by telephone call, e-mail, or other direct method of communication with public officials from municipalities affected by the closure to avoid any adverse economic impact on the municipalities during:

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  • periods of increased travel on the state highway system, including major state and federal holidays and school holidays; and
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  • other periods of high commercial activity in the state, including limited periods in which certain items are exempted from the sales tax imposed by Chapter 151, Tax Code.

If municipalities meeting the following criteria notify the Department or the Contractor at least 180 days before an event is scheduled to be held, temporary closures, including temporary relocations or changes to entrance or exit ramps, are prohibited on specified dates. When major items of work are impacted by the inability to close lanes or ramps, time will be suspended, as approved.

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  • Located in three counties, two of which have a population of 1.8 million or more,
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  • Primarily located in a county with a population of 1.8 million or more, and
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  • Have within its boundaries all or part of an international airport operated jointly by two municipalities.

Plans should contain specifications, provisions, or general notes stating the days on which the highway may not be closed.

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