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Roadworks (called road work in the United States) occur when part of the road, or in rare cases, the entire road, has to be occupied for work relating to the road, most often in the case of road surface repairs. They can, however, also happen when a major accident occurs and road debris from the crash needs to be cleared.
Roadworks are often signposted, although it is possible that the signage comes too late or too sudden or is missing. Typical of road work signage are traffic cones, barrier boards and t-top bollards as well as other forms of warning devices.
In some countries, where lanes must be altered so as to accommodate roadworks, the new lanes (or interim lanes) are marked with a different colour and take precedence over the previous lanes. In Germany, Poland and many other European countries, it is yellow; in Switzerland and in Ireland, it is orange.
Roadworks are frequently carried out throughout the night so as to minimize traffic disruption.
Currently there are very few sources of accurate roadworks information sites available that report on the status of current works and future works. In the UK the Roadworks.org website, an initiative run by ELGIN, aims to provide a national and live dataset of roadworks for the purpose of coordination and reporting. It includes roadworks information supplied by Local Authorities and national agencies like the Highways Agency.
- "Roadworks.org". Retrieved 19 April 2012.
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