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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

VI. Traffic Control During Sign Maintenance

Shoulder Work with Minor Encroachment

"Graphic: Shoulder Work with Minor Enroachment"


  1. All lanes should be a minimum of 3 m (10 ft) in width as measured to the near face of the channelizing devices.
  2. The treatment shown should be used on a minor road having low speeds. For higher-speed traffic conditions, a lane closure should be used.


  1. For short-term use on low-volume, low-speed roadways with motor vehicle traffic that does not include longer and wider heavy commercial vehicles, a minimum lane width of 2.7 m (9 ft) may be used.
  2. Where the opposite shoulder is suitable for carrying motor vehicle traffic and of adequate width, lanes may be shifted by the use of closely-spaced channelizing devices, provided that the minimum lane width of 3 m (10 ft) is maintained.
  3. Additional advance warning may be appropriate, such as a ROAD NARROWS sign.
  4. Temporary traffic barriers may be used along the work space.
  5. The shadow vehicle may be omitted if a taper and channelizing devices are used.
  6. A truck-mounted attenuator may be used on the shadow vehicle.
  7. For short-duration work, the taper and channelizing devices may be omitted if a shadow vehicle with activated rotating lights or strobe lights is used.


  1. Although vehicle hazard warning signals can be used to supplement the rotating lights or strobe lights, they shall not be used instead of rotating lights or strobe lights.


Lane Closure on Two-Lane Road Using Flaggers

"Graphic: Lane Closure on Two-Lane Road Using Flaggers"


  1. For low-volume situations with short work zones on straight roadways where the flagger is visible to road users approaching from both directions, a single flagger, positioned to be visible to road users approaching from both directions, may be used (see Chapter 6E).
  2. The ROAD WORK AHEAD and the END ROAD WORK signs may be omitted for short-duration operations.
  3. Flashing warning lights and/or flags may be used to call attention to the advance warning signs. A BE PREPARED TO STOP sign may be added to the sign series.
  4. a flagger or a law enforcement officer may be used at the highway-rail grade crossing to minimize the probability that vehicles are stopped within 4.5 m (15 ft) of the highway-rail grade crossing, measured from both sides of the outside rails.


  1. Channelizing devices should be extended to a point where they are visible to approaching road users.
  2. Floodlights should be provided as needed to mark flagger stations at night.
  3. When used the BE PREPARED TO STOP sign should be located between the Advance Flagger sign and the ONE LANE ROAD sign.
  4. When a highway-rail grade crossing exists within or upstream of the transition area and it is anticipated that backups resulting from the lane closure might extend through the highway-rail grade crossing, the temporary traffic control zone should be extended so that the transition area preceeds the highway-rail grade crossing.
  5. When a highway-rail grade crossing equipped with active warning devices exists within the activity area, provisions should be made for keeping flaggers informed as to the activation status of these warning devices.
  6. When a highway-rail grade crossing exists within the activity area, drivers operating on the left side of the normal centerline should be provided with comparable warning devices as for drivers operating on the right side of the normal centerline.
  7. Early coordination with the railroad company should occur before work starts.

Lane Closure on Low -Volume Two-Lane Road

"Graphic: Lane Closure on Low-Volume Two-Lane Road"


  1. This temporary traffic control zone application may be used as an alternate temporary traffic control plan to the lane closure with flaggers (Figure 6H-10), when the following conditions exist:

    1. Motor vehicle traffic volume is such that sufficient gaps exist for motor vehicle traffic that must yield.
    2. Drivers from both directions are able to see approaching motor vehicle traffic through and beyond the work site.


  1. When flaggers are used, the Flagger symbol sign shall be used in place of the YIELD AHEAD sign.


  1. The type B flashing warning lights may be placed on the ROAD WORK AHEAD and the ONE LANE ROAD AHEAD signs whenever a night lane closure is necessary.