Trends Spring 2016 | Page 18


Engineering , transportation management plans keep motorists moving through construction
By Kay Kruse-Stanton
who review TMPs associated with construction work on state highways .
“ Our first meeting to consider appropriate strategies for managing traffic flow was in 2015 ,” he said . “ That portion of the project started at least two years prior to construction . We usually do not have the luxury of closing down roads completely to do construction . It ’ s a tradeoff of mobility vs . the restrictions of getting the work done .”
A BALANCING ACT It can be a challenging process , according to Bill Roth , an Ayres Associates senior transportation engineer working on the Madison project . “ How much congestion and delay are we willing to tolerate ? And if it ’ s none , how much can we accommodate the contractor to cover work delays that will be caused by always having traffic through the work zone ? There ’ s a lot of detail to examine , perspectives that don ’ t all agree to be considered , and priorities to be balanced , and this effort needs to start very early in the project development ,” Roth said . “ Later on , when the practical effects of our decisions are experienced during construction , a lot of people will be affected – some for a long time if the project is large and complex .”

Where there are roads , there will be road construction . And where there is road construction , there is a plan to help move motorists through the affected area with minimal delays while protecting workers and equipment . The plan can range from a few lines added to instructions that guide the work to a lengthy , formal document included in paperwork construction companies review when they decide whether to bid on a project .

The process begins with determining that road repair or construction is needed , and that can be years before motorists see those dreaded “ ROAD WORK AHEAD ” signs . For example , the Wisconsin Department of Transportation ( WisDOT ) has scheduled repairs to begin on US Highways 12 / 18 and 51 in Madison in July . The corridor carries more than 54,000 vehicles every weekday . Ayres Associates is working with WisDOT ’ s James Romanowski on the transportation management plan ( TMP ) for the project . Romanowski is one of several WisDOT traffic engineers