Local road construction is a fact of life. Asphalt and concrete deteriorate, business districts expand, and the population continues to increase; streets are going to need an overhaul every once in a while. Traffic engineers like Randy Hoskins, P.E., know that a carefully crafted and thoughtfully executed road construction plan can make the difference between smooth sailing and stormy seas.
Hoskins, city traffic engineer for Lincoln, Neb., has two decades of experience in the field, which has come in handy with the city's current project—revamping “O” Street, or US-34, the main east/west street running through the middle of town. The project will widen the street to six lanes, add turn lanes, and include reconstruction of a water main and other utilities.
“We debated whether to carry the construction of the project over two years and allow two-way traffic on half the existing road, versus closing the road and completing the work in one construction season,” said Hoskins. “In working with business owners, we found they would prefer one year of ‘pain' to two years of ‘aches.'” Alleviating the pains included providing means of access to all affected businesses, creating signage to direct motorists to the stores, and launching a “media blitz” to notify the motoring public.
So far, the efforts of the city's Public Works and Utilities Department have worked, and the project is moving smoothly. To help ensure your road construction traffic efforts meet with similar success, Hoskins offered the following tips:
Following such wise advice should keep your construction pains and aches to a minimum.