The Safest Way to Start Diverting Traffic During Construction

The Safest Way to Start Diverting Traffic During Construction

When you're working on a road construction project, redirecting traffic is an essential part of keeping everyone safe. Here are some tips on how to begin diverting traffic around your construction site:

1. Make a Plan

Before work begins, you must develop a traffic control plan. This plan should detail how you will direct vehicles in the area around workers, equipment and other sensitive areas. Keep in mind that drivers and pedestrians must be able to clearly see and follow your route around the construction area, so the use of signage and flaggers is vital. There should also be a plan for workers on-site so they know where to go and what to expect at all times.

2. Have Regular Safety Meetings

Regular safety meetings help get everyone on the same page and ensure your construction traffic diversion plan is successful. Safety meetings are an excellent forum for workers and management to check in with each other, relay changing conditions and adjust plans. 

3. Use Clear Markings and Signage

Clearly mark where your work zone begins and ends so drivers know where they must be extra cautious. It's also crucial to place signs before the work zone to alert drivers to what's ahead. Once they enter the work zone, there should be prominent traffic signs directing them where to go and what speeds to travel. 

4. Establish the Transition Area

If you need to reduce or close a traffic lane, you must allow for a transition area where the route shift occurs. This area is typically referred to as the taper. The length of your taper depends on the width of the lane shift and the approaching traffic's speed. There must be clear signs and physical structures like cones in this area to direct traffic from its normal path.

5. Create Buffer Zones

After the transition zone, you need buffer zones that separate workers and equipment from traffic. Use traffic cones and barricades to physically keep traffic away from your construction site to prevent collisions. 

6. Maintain Visibility

It's critical to ensure that your work zone and traffic diversion route are lit well and free from obstructions, especially during the evening and when the weather is bad. Use durable, weather-proof lighting that can withstand the elements and occasional jostle from workers. Workers should wear high-visibility safety gear that reflects light, making them easier for drivers to see. If there are any hazardous areas, make sure they are clearly identified.

Workers and drivers must also have a clear line of sight. On sites with multiple pieces of equipment, tight corners and narrow lanes, there are often numerous blind spots. You can place mirrors and other visual aids on and around blind spots to improve visibility. 

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