Lump sum traffic control

Lump Sum Traffic Control is a method to streamline all traffic control unit items into a single item. The contractor submits a single lump sum bid for developing, implementing and maintaining traffic control on a contract.

This method does not reduce inspection effort. The same level of field inspection and oversight is required. However, a lower level of paperwork is required from field inspectors.

Traffic Control Plan Review is now contractual rather than approval related. All plans must meet the requirements outlined in the special provisions. We must base any additional requirements on a deficiency in the submitted plan. If a project office requires additional effort from the contractor, these requirements need to be identified in the special provisions.

On some projects, the traffic control solution is well defined. Due to potential differences in contractor's operations and scheduling, the amount of traffic control effort required could vary considerably.

On some projects, the traffic control solution may vary significantly due to a contractor's proposed solution. Requiring a lump sum bid encourages the contractor to consider the direct traffic control cost in determining the most cost-effective solution.

The fixed final traffic control cost offers a built-in advantage for the more organized contractor who is able to schedule all work efficiently into the smallest traffic control window. There is also a built-in incentive for the contractor keep costs low. This could potentially lead to more efficient use of the work force and more coordination between the prime contractor and the traffic control subcontractor.

Although a lump sum traffic control item requires less administration from our inspectors, this timesaving in paperwork does not extend into actual field inspection and enforcement of traffic control requirements.

The potential for conflict between inspectors and the contractor is diminished by eliminating the discussion regarding "paddle in the air" time for traffic control.

As the contractor is now responsible for all traffic control use and cost overruns there is the potential that safety will be in conflict with the bottom line.

The increased risk to the contractor will likely mean an increase in traffic control bidding costs. The contractor must now bid a worst-case scenario during the bidding process.

If changes are required, the absence of existing unit items could potentially add administrative burden to a project office.


  • Is the required traffic control plan defined to a level that will produce a consistent bid?
  • Is the traffic control plan straightforward? Is there at least one definable solution available at the time of bid?
  • Can a performance/outcome specification be written that ensures a consistent product?
  • Is there a possibility that a contractor's actions could reduce the overall public impact from traffic control?
  • Are there likely to be arguments regarding unit item quantities if we use standard items?

Pre-bid procedures

If a lump sum component is considered appropriate, the designer needs to ensure that the decision is acceptable to Headquarters Construction and the contracting industry.

Include individual unit item breakouts in the plans. Provide very clear descriptions of what will and will not be included in the Lump Sum Traffic Control item.

Review likely scenarios to determine how much risk is being shifted from us to the contractor for overruns in this item. Is the risk that the contractor is being asked to take on within the scope of the project? If the potential impact of a change is too costly a contractor may be forced to include the entire cost of the potential impact rather than an expected value.

Special provisions

Temporary Traffic Control


Section 1-10.4 is supplemented with the following:


When shown as lump sum in the Plans or in the Proposal as Temporary Traffic Control, no specific unit of measurement will apply, but measurement will be for the sum total of all items needed for traffic control, as shown in Section 1-10.


Section 1-10.5 is supplemented with the following:


Payment will be made in accordance with Section 1-04.1, for each of the following bid items included in the proposal:

"Temporary Traffic Control," lump sum.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.