Construction transportation management plans

A transportation management plan (TMP) describes how an agency will address the impact of a project on road users during construction.

Key characteristics




WSDOT regions

Other names

  • Traffic control plan
  • Temporary traffic control plan
  • Maintenance of traffic

Strategy description

Transportation management plans (TMPs) proactively minimize safety and mobility impacts within, and around, construction work zones. A TMP document addresses how a construction project’s work will impact road users. TMPs recognize that an individual work zone does not exist in a vacuum; it must be coordinated with other activities occurring in the area, including other work zones.

An individual TMP’s size, scope, and content are based on an agency’s work zone policies and their understanding of the ways and to what degree the construction will affect people driving, biking, and walking near, and through, the work zone.

Initial planning begins during the scoping and environmental evaluation project phase. Addressing the work zone impacts as early as possible allows agencies to adjust construction strategies and update the TMP throughout the project’s development.

When an agency’s project is ready for construction, the plans, specifications, and estimates package must include a TMP. The team will continue to assess strategy options throughout design and construction of the project, regularly evaluating each alternative based on benefits, cost, impacts to road users, and constructability.

When to use this strategy

Agencies are required to develop a basic construction TMP consisting of a project-specific temporary traffic control plan for every project that uses federal funding. A TMP provides the information needed for an agency to control traffic through the work zone to maximize safety and efficiency.

Some larger construction efforts are identified by the federal government as “significant projects” and are defined as those that, “...alone or in combination with other concurrent projects nearby is anticipated to cause sustained work zone impacts that are greater than what is considered tolerable based on State policy and/or engineering judgment” (1).

For “significant projects”, the TMP must include two additional components called Transportation Operations and Public Information:

  1. Agencies use Transportation Operations to look beyond the work zone to its larger impact area in order to address the operation and management of the transportation system.
  2. The Public Information component communicates important information about the project to stakeholders, including travelers, local residents, and local business. It typically includes messaging about the project, the work zone, expected delays, and possible alternatives.

Strategy benefits of a TMP:

  • Improves coordination among agencies and within departments of the same agency.
  • Improves public awareness of upcoming construction work zones.
  • Addresses the broader safety and mobility impacts of work zones beyond the site itself, including nearby corridors or primary routes and the overall transportation network.
  • Promotes more efficient and effective construction staging to minimize the duration of the work zone.
  • Reduces the impact of a work zone to road users, local businesses, and the community as a whole.
  • Improves work zone safety for workers and road users.

What you need in order to implement

Policy needs:

  • The TMP defines the policies that will govern an agency’s transportation construction project. Agencies have some flexibility in defining terms such as “significant project” for each situation.

Planning needs:

  • Creating a TMP, especially its public outreach component, should be considered as future construction work zones will impact mobility.

Coordination needs:

  • Significant coordination is needed among stakeholders, including the agency’s departments, to address traffic control, traffic operations, and public information needs. This is especially true when multiple construction work zones are in place in the same community.

Maintenance needs:

  • Agencies should regularly review and modify the TMP as needed during planning, design, and construction to reflect changing demands.

Agency resources needs:

  • Agencies will need experienced staff to produce the draft TMP, to coordinate with stakeholders during reviews and adoption of the TMP, and to collaborate on future updates.

Learn more about this strategy

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Transportation Management Plans (TMPs) for Work Zones website.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Assessing the Effectiveness of Transportation Management Plan Strategies, FHWA-HOP-12-043, 2012.

Works cited:

(1) Federal Register, Vol. 49, No. 174, 23 CFR Part 630, Section 630.1010, Work Zone Safety and Mobility, 2004 (PDF).

About key characteristics

Location notes:

A TMP is required for any transportation construction project using federal funds, regardless of its location but is useful in the development of all construction projects.

Cost notes:

As a policy document, the TMP is a relatively inexpensive part of a construction project, and its value far outweighs its cost by providing planning-level strategies to make the work zone safer and more efficient.

Technology notes:

The TMP itself is usually a basic document. The strategies within the TMP can vary widely, including some that use sophisticated technology.

Collaboration notes:

Collaboration among agencies and within departments of the same agency is necessary for the development, revision, and implementation of the TMP.

Need or issue this strategy addresses