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Brownwood Adopts Portable Traffic Signals

Situation

TxDOT roadway maintenance crews typically use flaggers to alert traffic to the presence of a TxDOT roadway work site. This practice takes capable TxDOT employees away from direct support of roadway maintenance operations or requires the agency to contract flagger services.

Solution

TxDOT has collaborated with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to identify safe methods for expanding the use of Portable Traffic Signals (PTSs) and Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) across the department.

The Brownwood District has implemented a pilot program across a majority of its maintenance sections to use Portable Traffic Signals in place of flaggers on the work site.

Portable Traffic Signals provide a substantial safety benefit by removing employees from the hazardous roadway maintenance position of flagging. Additionally, PTS use allows those employees to then directly support the roadway maintenance that is being performed and increases roadway maintenance production. In some cases, use of PTSs has allowed the maintenance section to create two crews instead of just one.

Cost Savings

The Brownwood District’s initial PTS pilot has identified more than $315,000 annually in cost avoidance and increased production. TxDOT is actively seeking opportunities to expand the use of PTSs and AFADs in roadway maintenance operations.

This is a notable example of how TxDOT collaborates with our transportation partners to enhance the safety of the work site, all while maximizing the efficient use of agency resources and increasing production.