What does a Highway Maintenance Worker do?

Maintain highways, municipal and rural roads, airport runways, and rights-of-way. Duties include patching broken or eroded pavement, repairing guard rails, highway markers, and snow fences. May also mow or clear brush from along road or plow snow from roadway.

Jobs Roles

  • Flag motorists to warn them of obstacles or repair work ahead.
  • Set out signs and cones around work areas to divert traffic.
  • Dump, spread, and tamp asphalt, using pneumatic tampers, to repair joints and patch broken pavement.
  • Drive trucks to transport crews and equipment to work sites.
  • Inspect, clean, and repair drainage systems, bridges, tunnels, and other structures.
  • Haul and spread sand, gravel, and clay to fill washouts and repair road shoulders.
  • Erect, install, or repair guardrails, road shoulders, berms, highway markers, warning signals, and highway lighting, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Remove litter and debris from roadways, including debris from rock and mud slides.
  • Clean and clear debris from culverts, catch basins, drop inlets, ditches, and other drain structures.
  • Perform roadside landscaping work, such as clearing weeds and brush, and planting and trimming trees.
  • Paint traffic control lines and place pavement traffic messages, by hand or using machines.
  • Inspect markers to verify accurate installation.
  • Apply poisons along roadsides and in animal burrows to eliminate unwanted roadside vegetation and rodents.
  • Measure and mark locations for installation of markers, using tape, string, or chalk.
  • Apply oil to road surfaces, using sprayers.
  • Blend compounds to form adhesive mixtures used for marker installation.
  • Place and remove snow fences used to prevent the accumulation of drifting snow on highways.
  • Perform preventative maintenance on vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Drive heavy equipment and vehicles with adjustable attachments to sweep debris from paved surfaces, mow grass and weeds, remove snow and ice, and spread salt and sand.
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