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The trends of growing traffic, increased road work, and public frustration with work zones have contributed to the growing work zone safety concerns on construction workers and the traveling public. Traffic delays and vehicle crashes in work zones have resulted in significant economicconsequences.

Key Facts about Highway Work Zones

  • Work zones are one of the most dangerous elements of the transportation network, representing over 1000 fatalities and 50,000 injuries annually.
  • One third of the roads in urbanized areas in the United States are traveled under congested conditions and severe delays often occur due to work zones [FHWA, 2005].
  • Much of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways is more than 30 years old [FHWA 2004].
  • In the year 2001, of the 24,606 miles of federal aid roadway projects underway, 85 percent of the miles were for system preservation projects [FHWA 2001].
  • In the year 2000, more than 81 percent of highway capital expenditures were allocated to system preservation, expansion, and enhancement all involving active work zones on existing roads with traffic present [FHWA 2003].

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