The state Department of Transportation has used civilian flaggers
on 450 of the 950 state projects since the regulations changed in 2008, according to spokeswoman Sara Lavoie.
are paid $15 to $26 per hour, while police officers receive $30 to $42 per hour.
Murray said the new rules would specifically provide for use of flaggers
for work on secondary and smaller roads and that the changes would generate large savings.
West 19th Avenue (Chambers Street to Fillmore Street): In order to complete paving this week, this street will be closed to all traffic, except residents who will be guided by flaggers
Only a handful of Bay State communities, some of them with small police departments that don't have enough officers to do details, use civilian flaggers
on local street projects, according to a survey by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
Once work begins, project streets may be reduced to one lane for both directions, controlled by flaggers
during daylight working hours.
Traffic will be controlled by flaggers
when work is being performed during the day and could be routed onto a two- lane by-pass road when construction resumes.
Of those only one, Otis, uses flaggers
exclusively, primarily because the town is small.
A Transportation Department study last year put the pay of civilian flaggers
at $32 to $37 an hour, compared with police detail pay of $32 to $42 an hour.
Work is expected to start within the next few weeks, with flaggers
to be paid $33 an hour, the prevailing wage, according to Highway Commissioner Luisa M.
At a time of fiscal crisis, Massachusetts communities are failing to take advantage of an opportunity for savings by using civilian flaggers
instead of off-duty police officers to direct traffic and guard road construction and utility projects.
Watch for signs, cones, possible flaggers
, and minor delays.