The 2001 legislature has modified ARS 28-652 and
added ARS 28-710 to establish laws requiring the Arizona Department
of Transportation to implement double fines in work zones when workers
are present. This law goes into effect on August 9, 2001. At
the present time this law is applicable to projects on the state highway
system only, not city, county or other specialty projects off the
state highway system.
The major concern of the lawmakers is the credibility of the signing. When double fine signing is in place the workers must be present. As soon as the work is completed and workers are no longer exposed to traffic, the signs must be removed
The law's objective is to create an enforceable work activity zone wherever workers are exposed to the possibility of an errant vehicle causing an accident and possible employee injury. Examples would be but not limited to:
- Paving Operations on operating roadways
- New Construction on Existing Alignment
- Equipment Crossings with Flagmen
- Any Specialty Project with Worker Exposure
SPEED LIMITS AND SIGN PLACEMENT
Speed limit reductions should be kept to a minimum.
The NCHRP Research Results Digest on Procedure for Determining
Work Zone Speed Limits should be used as guideline. The authority
for reducing speed limits in construction zones is delegated to the
District Engineer. It is recommended the Regional Traffic Engineers
also be contacted when establishing construction work zone limits.
It is not the intent to reduce speed limits throughout
the length of projects on a 24-hour basis. It is generally acceptable
to reduce speed limits by 10 MPH to account for narrower lanes, barrier
presence, uneven shoulders or drop-offs, etc. In areas where
the workers are present (the "Double Fine Area") the speed
may be further reduced as needed to safely pass the work activity.
The Resident Engineer and contractor's responsible person for traffic
control shall monitor operating speeds through the "Double Fine
Area" to ensure the reduced speed is proper, and is not posted
too low, to ensure maximum safety, capacity, and credibility of the
roadway. Once the "Double Fine Area" is passed the construction
project speed limit then again becomes applicable until another "Double
Fine Area" is encountered. It may be possible to maintain
the project construction speed limit inside the "Double Fine
Sign Placement shall be in accordance with Standard
Specifications, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and the
attached new Supplemental Standard Drawing SA-12. Note: these
drawings were developed from the law and the spacing cannot be lengthened.
The maximum distance between "Double Fine Speed Limit" sign
is 2500 feet. Closer spacing is permissible.
There may be one or more work activity zones within a project. It is these work activity zones to which the double fine speed limit is applicable when workers are present.
On resurfacing operations the work zone signs may
be placed in line with the cones closing off the paving areas, rather
than the shoulder. The length of the "Double Fine Area"
should be kept as small as practical considering the number of activities
and exposure to workers and equipment. The contractor should
organize work zones with the opportunity to extend, relocate, or remove
signing to keep the double fine areas as small as practical throughout
the work shift.
The Specifications require the contractor to have an employee to monitor traffic control. As specified in Section 701-3.01 of the Standard Specifications, he is responsible for implementing, monitoring, and altering (as necessary) the traffic control plan.
This shall include:
- Insure safe and timely removal and relocation of signs. Double fine signing shall not remain in place when workers are not present.
- Serve workers and traveling public by insuring a safe and efficient work zone.
Double fine signing is also applicable for ADOT Maintenance operations. Any substantial maintenance operation requiring a lane closure shall also be in accordance with Standard Specifications, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, and the attached new Supplemental Standard Drawings SA-12.
Traffic control zones are established to be functional without DPS, however ADOT has chosen to improve safety by having DPS officers present. Under the new law, the officer and project personnel can work together to make the work zone a safer place.
Signing necessary for the implementation of the double fine law will be paid under the established items for temporary signing in the contract. A Supplemental Agreement is not necessary.
Should you have any questions please contact Paul Hurst at 602.712.8544.
Attachment (Figure SA-12)
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