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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1032 (February 24, 2024).

Pennsylvania Code



212.401.    General.
212.402.    Exempt work.
212.403.    Temporary traffic-control plans.
212.404.    Sign supports.
212.405.    Regulatory speed limits.
212.406.    Channelizing devices.
212.407.    Markings.
212.408.    Impact attenuators.
212.409.    Travel lane rumble strips.
212.410.    Delineators.
212.411.    Flaggers.
212.412.    Flagger signaling devices.
212.413.    Portable traffic-control signals.
212.414.    Emergency work.
212.415.    Type D Arrow Panels.
212.416.    Shadow vehicles.
212.417.    Flashing warning lights.
212.418.    Good management principles.
212.419.    Special controls in work zones.

§ 212.401. General.

 This subchapter supplements the criteria in the MUTCD, and applies to highway construction, maintenance operations and utility work or incident management, either on a highway or so close to a highway that workers, equipment or materials encroach on the highway. Compliance with this subchapter does not relieve the contractor or others of their general responsibility for the protection of the public and the employees in work zones.

§ 212.402. Exempt work.

 (a)  General. The following types of work are exempt from the requirements contained in this chapter and in the MUTCD:

   (1)  Snow plowing and other snow or ice control operations.

   (2)  Refuse collection, trash collection, leaf pick-up, street cleaning, municipal street sweeping and residential lawn care.

   (3)  Operations which do not involve construction, maintenance operations or utility work, such as mail, newspaper, home fuel or other local deliveries.

   (4)  Studies or inspections of highway or utility features which may be completed without blocking any part of a travel lane.

   (5)  Construction, maintenance operations or utility work in areas outside the highway right-of-way; except when the work is so close to the highway that workers, equipment or materials encroach on the highway.

   (6)  Construction, maintenance operations or utility work where all workers, equipment or materials are behind a guide rail, more than 2 feet behind a curb or 15 feet or more from the edge of a roadway.

   (7)  Mowing operations on roads with less than 10,000 vehicles per day and where equipment does not encroach on the roadway.

   (8)  Traffic data collection.

 (b)  Safety considerations. While the types of work in subsection (a) are exempt from the specific traffic-control guidelines of this subchapter, they must be accomplished in a manner that will provide an adequate degree of safety for the workers and the public.

§ 212.403. Temporary traffic-control plans.

 Plans for construction projects must either reference or include a temporary traffic-control (TTC) plan, which must consist of one of the following:

   (1)  A reference to a specific figure either in the MUTCD or in the Work Zone Traffic Control Guidelines (Department Publication 213) that properly depicts actual site conditions.

   (2)  A copy of a specific figure either in the MUTCD or the Work Zone Traffic Control Guidelines (Department Publication 213) which has been modified to depict actual site conditions and the necessary traffic-control requirements for the specific project.

   (3)  One or more detailed plan sheets or drawings showing the actual site conditions and the TTC requirements for the specific project.

§ 212.404. Sign supports.

 (a)  Post-mounted signs. Post-mounted signs or signs on fixed supports shall be installed in accordance with the Signing and Marking Standards (Department Publication 111M).

   (1)  Post-mounted sign installations must be of a breakaway or yielding design unless they are adequately placed behind guide rail or median barrier.

   (2)  Signs may not be mounted on existing utility poles or other structures unless the owner grants written permission and the signs can be properly positioned to convey their messages effectively.

 (b)  Portable sign supports. Portable sign supports must be of a type approved by the Department and listed in Approved Construction Materials (Department Publication 35).

§ 212.405. Regulatory speed limits.

 (a)  General. Regulatory speed limits in temporary traffic-control zones and in the area in advance of a work zone where traffic queues are anticipated may be established as follows:

   (1)  A regulatory speed limit up to 10 miles per hour below the normal speed limit may be established without an engineering and traffic study, provided the reduced regulatory speed limit is at least 25 miles per hour. Regulatory speed limits less than 25 miles per hour or more than 10 miles per hour below the normal speed limit require an engineering and traffic study and the prior approval of the Department for State-designated highways and approval of local authorities for local highways. To qualify for an additional speed limit reduction, the engineering and traffic study must indicate that traffic queues, erratic maneuvers, high vehicle crash rates or undesirable working conditions exist on the project or have existed on similar projects.

   (2)  Regulatory speed limits for temporary traffic control must be signed with either Speed Limit Signs (R2-1), Work Area Speed Limit Signs (R2-2-2) or variable speed limit signs. For speed limits that are 50 miles per hour or less, the signs must be spaced not greater than 1/2 mile apart throughout the limits of the reduced speed limit zone. Conflicting regulatory or warning signs must be removed, covered, folded or turned so that they are not readable or identifiable by oncoming traffic whenever the reduced regulatory speed limit is in effect.

   (3)  A Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) showing the speed limit on the section of highway immediately after the work zone must be positioned at the end of the reduced regulatory speed limit, except an R2-1 sign is not necessary if a Work Area Speed Limit Sign (R2-2-2) is used and an End Road Work Sign (G20-2) or End Work Area Sign (G20-3) is in place at the end of the regulatory speed limit.

 (b)  Variable speed limits. In an effort to avoid unnecessary speed restrictions, variable speed limits are encouraged in lieu of static signs. These speed limits may be remotely controlled, either manually or by a computer using hardware and software to monitor functions such as traffic speeds, volumes, densities and queues.

§ 212.406. Channelizing devices.

 (a)  Device consistency. Channelizing devices used to form a particular taper or a particular longitudinal line of devices must all be of a single type. For example, cones, drums, barricades and vertical panels may not be intermixed within the same taper or line, but the type of device being used in a taper may differ from the type of device being used in a longitudinal section.

 (b)  Cones. Cones may only be used as a channelizing device for operations where work is in active progress. The minimum height of cones is 28 inches except cones that are 18 inches high may be used to protect new pavement markings.

§ 212.407. Markings.

 When lane line and center line pavement markings on more than 250 linear feet of highway are covered or destroyed by construction, maintenance, utility, permit or other work, they must be replaced, before ending work each day, with standard pavement markings, or with temporary pavement markings as included in the MUTCD.

§ 212.408. Impact attenuators.

 The design and application of temporary impact attenuators must comply with the Roadway Construction Standards (Department Publication 72M) for concrete median barrier and other obstructions.

§ 212.409. Travel lane rumble strips.

 Temporary bituminous rumble strips may be used in the travel lanes to provide an audible warning to alert drivers of a potentially dangerous situation including a median crossover, lane reduction and congested area. Recommended rumble strip designs are available from the Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering. When used, the rumble strip patterns must extend onto the shoulder whenever possible to discourage drivers from making erratic maneuvers in an attempt to bypass or avoid the rumble patterns.

§ 212.410. Delineators.

 The application of delineators must comply with the Signing and Marking Standards (Department Publication 111M).

§ 212.411. Flaggers.

 (a)  Helmet. In addition to the requirements of the MUTCD, flaggers shall wear a protective helmet.

 (b)  Mechanical flaggers. Mechanical flaggers or mannequins, which look and act somewhat like flaggers, may not be used to alert, slow or stop traffic.

§ 212.412. Flagger signaling devices.

 A red flag shall only be used to control traffic in emergencies when a Stop/Slow Paddle (R21-10) is not available or at intersections where a single flagger is used within an intersection.

§ 212.413. Portable traffic-control signals.

 Portable traffic-control signals may be used to control one-lane, two-way traffic. They may also be used for other special applications such as a highway or street intersection with a temporary haul road or equipment crossing. The design and application of portable traffic-control signals must conform with the applicable requirements of the Department’s certificate of approval issued to the manufacturer for portable traffic-control signals, and with any special requirements defined in the TTC Plan. For these applications, it may be desirable to use traffic-actuated or manual control to compensate for unbalanced traffic flows.

§ 212.414. Emergency work.

 (a)  General. Emergency work may be initiated without prior compliance with the traffic-control provisions specified by this subchapter, provided the foreman or lead worker implements all available safety measures, and the traffic control is brought into compliance with this subchapter as soon as possible. The foreman or lead worker may use flares as attention-getting and warning devices.

 (b)  Utility work. Emergency repair for utility work may be initiated under this section or repair to a utility facility undertaken under Chapter 459 (relating to occupancy of highways by utilities) to repair damage resulting from a vehicle crash or collision with the facility, a failed component or storm damage. Utility service connections or disconnections unrelated to a vehicle crash, a failed component, or storm damage must otherwise comply with this subchapter.

 (c)  Expediting emergency work. Emergency work may be completed without installation of work zone traffic-control devices required by this subchapter, if one of the following conditions is met:

   (1)  Review of the condition indicates that the emergency work can be completed in less time than it would take to install the temporary traffic-control devices, and the work or condition would not create a significant potential hazard.

   (2)  Temporary traffic control has been set up and it is found that additional traffic-control devices are desirable, but that it would take longer to obtain and install additional traffic-control devices than it would to complete the work.

§ 212.415. Type D Arrow Panels.

 Type D Arrow Panels shall only be used on vehicles during short-term stationary, short duration or mobile operations.

§ 212.416. Shadow vehicles.

 When used with a truck-mounted attenuator (TMA), the shadow vehicle must be loaded to a weight recommended by the manufacturer of the TMA.

§ 212.417. Flashing warning lights.

 If used, flashing warning lights may not be used in a series unless the spacing between successive flashing lights is at least 250 feet.

§ 212.418. Good management principles.

 Agencies administering highway construction, utility work and maintenance operations shall mandate the application of the following good management principles:

   (1)  Keep the temporary traffic-control zones as short as practical to avoid long stretches with no work activity.

   (2)  Minimize lane restrictions.

   (3)  Remove all traffic-control devices as soon as practical after the construction, maintenance or utility operation is complete.

§ 212.419. Special controls in work zones.

 (a)  General. Special signing required in 75 Pa.C.S. § §  3326, 3365, 4309, 6123 and 6123.1 will be in addition to the traffic-control devices required by the MUTCD and shall be installed in accordance with this section.

 (b)  Application. Signing under this section is discretionary in the following work zones:

   (1)  Short duration work, where the operation will be completed in less than 1 hour.

   (2)  Mobile operations, where the work moves intermittently or continuously.

   (3)  Stationary work where the daily duration of the construction, maintenance or utility operation is less than 12 hours and all traffic-control devices are removed from the highway at the completion of the daily operation, including all advance warning signs.

   (4)  Work along highways other than expressways or freeways where the normal speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less.

   (5)  Work in response to emergency work or conditions such as a major storm.

 (c)  Work ZoneTurn on Headlights Sign (R22-1). The Work Zone—Turn on Headlights Sign (R22-1) shall be erected as the first sign on each primary approach to the work zone, generally at a distance of 250 to 1,000 feet prior to the first warning sign. On high-speed roadways including all expressways and freeways, the larger advance distances should be used. If work begins at or near a border to this Commonwealth, the R22-1 signs should be installed within this Commonwealth.

 (d)  Active Work Zone When Flashing Sign (W21-19). The Active Work Zone When Flashing Sign (W21-19) shall be erected as close as practical to the beginning of the active work zone.

   (1)  The sign should not be erected within a transition or at a location where workers are put at risk when they may need to turn the light on and off.

   (2)  When a construction, maintenance or utility project has more than one active work zone and the active work zones are separated by a distance of more than 1 mile, signs for each active work zone shall be erected.

   (3)  The W21-19 signs shall be installed on temporary sign posts or on Type III barricades, and a white Type B high-intensity flashing light must be attached to the upper portion of each W21-19 sign. The light shall be activated only when workers are present, and deactivated when workers are not anticipated during the next 60 minutes.

 (e)  End Active Work Zone Sign (W21-20). The End Active Work Zone Sign (W21-20) shall be erected immediately at the end of each active work zone, except this sign is not necessary if either the End Road Work Sign (G20-2a) or the End Work Area Sign (G20-3) is installed at the end of the active work zone.

 (f)  Work zones on expressways or freeways. When the work zone is on an expressway or freeway, appropriate signs and lights identified in subsections (c), (d) and (e) at on-ramp approaches to the work zone shall be installed.

 (g)  Portable changeable message sign. A portable changeable message sign (PCMS) may be used in lieu of the R22-1, W21-19 or W21-20 signs.

 (h)  Speed display sign. In Interstate highway work zones with a project cost exceeding $300,000, a speed display sign shall be installed on each mainline approach to the work zone to inform motorists of their speed.

   (1)  The speed display sign must display the motorist’s speed in miles per hour in numerals at least 18 inches in height.

   (2)  As an alternative, a portable changeable message sign (PCMS) may be equipped with radar and programmed to display vehicles speeds.

   (3)  PCMSs may also flash appropriate messages such as ‘‘YOU ARE SPEEDING’’ or ‘‘SLOW DOWN.’’ The signs shall be placed 1/2 to 1 mile in advance of the physical work zone.

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