Traffic Managers Explained

What are the roles of  traffic managers? As a Parallaxx traffic manager, I manage, plan and facilitate temporary traffic control – specifically, aiding the construction team on major projects in completing work that affects the public. 

There are various types of traffic managers – at Parallaxx our main area of focus is capital works projects where we engage a capital works traffic manager. Traffic managers work very closely with engineers of various disciplines on large scale construction projects to come up with clever TTM solutions to facilitate safe working environments to complete their works. 

Within a capital works project, several facets need to be taken into account to ensure that all the considerations have been addressed. For example, long-term design, discreet operations, and on-site delivery. 

Long-term design or staging design focuses on where traffic will be during each stage of construction on long term, high risk TTM sites. This allows various continuous works to occur on high speed and volume roads as these pose a greater risk to both the public and the working crews. On these roads good temporary traffic management design is imperative and could include the use of geometric road design, barriers to provide separation between public and work crews and other safety mitigations to increase the safety of all users. 

Discreet operation is short-term traffic management that generally gets implemented at night to allow the construction team to complete more invasive works that would cause too much disruption to the public. For example, full road closures allow more space for the construction crews and allow works to occur on sections of the roads that are normally live during the day thus allowing construction to occur at night. 

On-site operation is how both long-term and discreet operations will be implemented on the road. This takes various considerations like project progress, current road environment, traffic volumes and other works into consideration to determine an efficient TTM program. 

With that being said, what does a traffic manager actually do? We try to understand what the construction team need in order to complete each stage of the project. We `then devise a plan to allow construction. As the staging continues the site area becomes a combination of completed works, uncompleted works and continuing construction zones. All whist keeping road user functionality as high as possible. 

Traffic managers have a wide range of duties to effectively achieve a productive site and to ensure that construction crews are not delayed during the stages. Traffic managers always look to continuously future-proof plans to allow flexibility of works – as construction certainly has unexpected delays. With any unexpected delays, cost forecasting should be taken into consideration to project future spend and to ensure that budget is not exceeded. Another result of unexpected delays is flexibility of the program, where other sections of construction might be need to be postponed due to the delay. These links are important to understand to ensure continuity of construction and devising a TTM program to facilitate this is key. 

With traffic management being an integral part of the construction industry, the reduction of disruption is vital to ensure that other industries are not halted, causing significant delays to the public. We continuously adapt our skills and readily share our knowledge of traffic management with all the people we work alongside. 

Traffic management is a complex part of the construction industry, to develop skills to fit into the role of traffic manager, some key qualifications and skills are required to achieve success. 

Key qualifications would be: 

Key Skills would be 

  • –   A comprehensive understanding of CoPTTM  
  • –   Excellent communication skills 
  • –   Great planning-oriented person 
  • –   Strong leadership skills 

Experience in temporary traffic management is critical for this role. Extensive experience means better solutions can be derived for the ever-developing scenarios that occur on-site, an understanding of how traffic management closures are implemented, and designed, and an understanding of how closures affect the traffic flows. 

In short, what is a traffic manager?  We are key personnel for projects that provide clever traffic management solutions to facilitate safe worksites for construction to improve the road environment while reducing risks and disruption to the public.