Highway Construction Zone Safety:

Not Yet Achieved

CED-78-10: Published: Dec 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) has expressed concern about construction zone safety for over 11 years, but this concern has not always been reflected in the safety provisions made by state highway agencies.

Unsafe conditions existed at all of the 26 construction sites visited in seven states. Designs for worksite safety varied widely from state to state and from project to project. Although FHwA has taken some actions to improve driving environments, these actions do not fully address the problems observed. By developing additional guidance on how and when to use traffic control devices, by improving field office inspection procedures, and by providing training, FHwA and the states can greatly improve the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and work crews in highway construction zones.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should: (1) direct the Administrator, FHwA, to revise the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to include specific guidance on how and when to use traffic control devices in construction zones; (2) require training to help ensure that federal and state officials are made aware of the importance of construction zone safety and have the capability to plan for, implement, and inspect these safety measures; and (3) establish field office inspection procedures to identify hazardous conditions and ensure that they are corrected.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 5, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

Sep 7, 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Aug 3, 2017

Jul 27, 2017

Jul 26, 2017

Jul 20, 2017

May 31, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here