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Night Construction Guidelines

Night Construction Guidelines

Sometimes getting the job done means getting the job done at night. Not all construction jobs require night work, but when they do, it is important to be prepared, be safe, and take precautions that minimize risk to workers.
Road and Bridge - Night Construction

Top Reasons for Night Construction

  1. The most common reason for night work is to reduce risk to travelers and workers, and maximize production on DOT and Road & Bridge projects.

  2. Depending on what part of the country the job is in, and the season, another reason would be to take advantage of working in cooler weather.

  3. If a job is behind schedule, night work may be needed to hit deadlines and avoid fines. This situation is more common the last year or two, as many contractors are struggling to find skilled workers.

  4. When doing large pours where time is a factor, it can be beneficial to pour at night. Your concrete ready-mix company can deliver faster at night – which can be a factor, especially if your mix is not batched close to the jobsite.

Preparing Your Work Zone

If you have a night job coming up it's important to survey the area during the day first. Establish the boundaries of your work zone. Take note of all potential areas of risk, uneven terrain, utilities, and make detailed notes.

Mark and flag the jobsite before work begins. Seeing the site's surroundings and any potential hazards in the daylight will help you and your team avoid potential risks at night.


Make sure to prepare your work zone for night work by implementing the following:


  • Cones – can be used to divert traffic and can be moved around the sites easily

  • Barricades – can divert traffic and provide a safe barrier between traffic and workers

  • Delineators – can be used to guide traffic through a work zone, mark the edge of the job site, or draw attention to the presence of workers

  • Reflective Signs – all these safety measures work in conjunction with reflective signage; all signs engaged at night should be reflective for maximum visibility

Check Night Construction Guidelines

Check state/city guidelines that pertain to night construction. Some areas have minimal specifications, while others (large cities, etc) have many ordinances, guidelines, and specifications, and may require a detailed lighting plan designed by a certified lighting professional. Make sure you’re in compliance. In those areas that have little or no night work spec’s, refer to The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as a basic guideline to design a lighting scheme for your project (if the PDF text looks weird in your browser, it will look normal after you download it). Refer to page 614 for details on Lighting Devices

Prepare to Work at Night


For individual workers, preparing to work at night—whether temporary or permanent—usually requires modifying sleep schedules. Switching to the night shift and sleeping during the day can be a difficult transition; workers must ensure they are getting enough rest in order to be alert and rested while working at night. Most people invest in some good room-darkening shades to help them sleep during the day. Either way, sleep needs to happen. Working while drowsy is hazardous to the crew and can increase the chance of accidents or errors.

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