Determining Road User Costs for Work Zone Construction Sequencing Using Multi-Resolution Modeling Methods
Shelton, Jeffrey; Valdez, Gabriel A.; Madrid, Aldo; Sanchez, Alfredo
Traffic congestion has continued to increase over the past decade. As a result, there has been an increase in roadway construction throughout the United States. However, work zones contribute to congestion levels that impact travel time and increase delays due to speed reductions, lane closures, and traffic diversions. As a result, many transportation agencies are beginning to use incentive/disincentive clauses to motivate contractors to stay on or ahead of schedule. An important aspect in incentive/disincentive clauses is determining monetary values for various measures-of-effectiveness on a per day basis. This monetary value is known as a road user cost. There are several different tools and methodologies in determining road user costs including sketch planning tools, economic analysis tools and simulation modeling. However, there is very little literature on using mesoscopic and microscopic simulation-based models to determine these monetary values. The goal of this study was to use multi-resolution modeling techniques to calculate user costs and address the impact of traffic diversion at a system-wide level. A simulation-based mesoscopic model was used to determine time-dependent routing and diversion of vehicles based upon each work zone construction sequence. Then, a sub-area of the project limits was extracted and converted to a microscopic level to obtain various measures-of-effectiveness for auto and trucks. The multi-resolution modeling approach is an innovative way of capturing the impact of driver behavior due to delays incurred as a result of route shifting. A deterministic model was then developed to calculate a final road user cost per approach during each phase of construction. A case study analyzing the construction of a set of direct connectors in El Paso, Texas was used to test the proposed methodology.
Presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January 2012, Washington, D.C.