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Road Flaggers & Police Details

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Program Tools

  1. Regulation (701 C.M.R. § 7.00)
  2. Program Questions and Answers
  3. Road Flagger Certification Program
  4. Road Flagger Specification
  5. Guidelines
  6. Work Zone Safety Guidelines
  7. Standard Traffic Control Plans
  8. Road Flagger Certification Programs Approved By MassDOT

Program Tools

Chapter 86 of the Acts of 2008 authorized the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works ("EOTPW"), in consultation with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, to publish guidelines and promulgate regulations regarding the use of road flaggers and police details on public works projects. Pursuant to the Act, the regulations and guidelines are applicable to all public works projects, including municipal projects except to the extent that any provision is inconsistent with a municipal ordinance or by-law or any applicable provisions of a collective bargaining agreement under chapter 150E. View Section 10

Promulgation of the Regulation / Process

The EOTPW began work on the road flagger and police detail reform on the same day it was signed into law by Governor Patrick (Apr. 17, 2008) through formation of an internal working group made up of MassHighway safety, construction, and maintenance experts. On May 2, 2008, the EOTPW held an informational meeting about the law and the process the EOTPW expected to follow in promulgating the regulation. The EOTPW invited both police officers and police unions, and those who had been public on the issue, such as representatives of the Beacon Hill Institute, the Pioneer Institute, and the Transportation Finance Commission, to participate in the discussion.

Over the next few months, the internal working group met regularly to discuss the implementation of new standards for traffic management and how to deploy road flaggers safely and effectively on the roads of the Commonwealth. The group reviewed the current "MassHighway Work Zone Safety Guidelines for MA Municipalities and Contractors" and "Standard Details & Drawings for the Development of Traffic Management Plans," which identify different configurations for construction work zones and how to establish a safe and efficient traffic management setup. The group was ultimately tasked with developing and revising traffic management strategies, while maintaining the safety of the construction work zone. The final regulation incorporated the recommendations of the internal working group as well as many recommendations provided by interested organizations.

On May 20, 2008, a public hearing was held at the State Transportation Building to solicit further testimony regarding the implementation of new traffic management plans incorporating road flaggers. Many interested parties provided oral and written testimony at the hearing, discussing the benefits of both police details and road flaggers. The testimony is available on the MassHighway website. View Testimony

On August 13, 2008, the Patrick Administration issued a Press Release discussing the basic requirements outlined in the proposed regulation. The press release noted that the use of road flaggers would occur mostly on projects where the Commonwealth is the Awarding Authority including state projects on local roads. Finally, the press release noted that a public hearing and comment period on the proposed regulation would be held within the near future.

On September 9, 2008, the EOTPW released a draft Cost Report analyzing the anticipated cost savings through the utilization of alternative personnel on MassHighway construction contracts. The cost report reviewed, among other things, the average hourly cost for police details and road flaggers, and provided a summary of the potential savings if the proposed regulation were implemented on then active MassHighway contracts.

On September 15, 2008, the EOTPW held another public hearing at the State Transportation Building to solicit testimony on the draft regulation. Again, many interested parties provided oral and written testimony regarding the proposed regulations. Additionally, the EOTPW accepted written comments until September 17, 2008. The Hearing Testimony and Written Comments are available on the MassHighway website.

After reviewing all the written and oral testimony and submitted public comments, the EOTPW finalized the regulation, and filed it with the Publications and Regulations division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The regulation went into effect upon publication in the October 3, 2008 Register.

Final Regulation and Guidelines

The Regulation (701 C.M.R. § 7.00) identifies (i) different tiers of public works projects requiring road flaggers, police details, and traffic devices; (ii) when road flaggers, police details, or traffic devices are required; (iii) the authority of the Authorized Representative with respect to the safety of the traffic management plan; and (iv) responsibilities of road flaggers and police details (including flagger training and work zone instruction).

The Guidelines assist design consultants, Awarding Authorities, and the Authorized Representative(s) of an Awarding Authority with the management and development of traffic control plans and construction zone safety plans. The Guidelines include standard traffic control plans, work zone safety guidelines, and accompanying companion tables.

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