Why do those pesky road construction projects take so long to start and finish?
Whether driving your daily commute to and from work, running errands, or just out for a Sunday drive, you will likely encounter some road construction. When you face the halted traffic or the maze of orange cones and signs, you may sigh from irritation and wonder how long this road work will last. You may look at the construction workers with frustration and wish they would work faster.
Let’s stop, take a deep breath, find our patience, and give these workers a break. We need to understand the process of these road construction projects from start to finish, so let’s break it down:
The customer makes their work request (this customer can be a city, a state, a commercial company, or a homeowner).
Fielders visit the site to assess the problems that need solving.
After fielding, engineering plans are drafted, and letters/payment requests are sent to customers.
The engineers send their plans to drafters.
The drafters then use those documents to create Traffic Control Plans (TCPs).
TCPs are sent to reviewers first and then returned to drafters with feedback.
Permit applications and TCPs are submitted to the municipality for approval to begin work.
Construction dates are set.
Construction work starts.
One thing to remember when going through most of the list above is that there can be hold-ups in the process. There could possibly be a mistake with paperwork, missing requirements from a municipality, or sometimes the weather can delay a road construction project. There are times when a project is started in the field, and things change, so everyone involved must go back through the whole process again. Delays can stem from many factors and all projects are different, so it’s hard to say which ones will be completed promptly and which ones will be drawn out much longer. Remember that the ultimate goal of these processes is keeping the public and the workers safe.
So, remember, the next time you are confronted by that bright orange color of road frustration, take a moment to remember there is a lengthy process for road construction projects, and rules/laws that must be followed to complete the work and keep the public safe. Did you find this information about TCPs interesting? If so, check out our other blogs about TCPs.
Written By: Miriam N, ATCO TCP & Permit Coordinator