More and more work zone projects come with the needs of new construction and regular maintenance-related investments in transportation. Work zone projects can have many significant impacts socially, economically and environmentally. Minimizing the total impacts of work zone projects by optimizing relevant schedules is extremely important. This study aims to analyze the impacts of scheduling long-term work zone activities.
Optimal scheduling of the starting dates of each work zone project is determined by developing and solving using a bi-level genetic algorithm (GA)–based optimization model. The upper level sub-model is to minimize the total travel delay caused by work zone projects over the entire planning horizon, whereas the lower level sub-model is a traffic assignment problem under user equilibrium condition with elastic demand.
Sioux Falls network is used to develop and test the proposed GA-based model. The average and minimum total travel delays (TTDs) over generations of the proposed GA algorithm decrease very rapidly during the first 20 generations of the GA algorithm; after the 20th generations, the solutions gradually level off with a certain level of variations in the average TTD, showing the capability of the proposed method of solving the multiple work zone starting date optimization problem.
The proposed model can effectively identify the near-optimal solution to the long-term work zone scheduling problem with elastic demand. Sensitivity analysis of the impact of the elastic demand parameter is also conducted to show the importance of considering the impact of elastic demand parameter.