Defining and understanding traffic flow parameters within short-term interstate work zones is a crucial step in developing effective policies to manage construction and maintenance work conducted on the nation’s heavily traveled freeways. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) initiated a research study to develop a methodology for use in determining an updated lane closure policy for interstate highway work zones. Phase 1 of the research was completed in May 2003 and findings identified threshold volumes for two-to-one lane closure work zone configurations. Phase 2 of the research further expanded numerically derived relationships and contained analysis of other short-term lane closure configurations including three-to-two and three-to-one lane closures. Both research phases concentrated on methods to determine the number of vehicles per lane per hour that can pass through short-term interstate work zone lane closure with minimum or acceptable levels of delay as defined by the SCDOT. Phase 2 includes an expanded list of data collection sites with differing work zone characteristics. This paper presents the analysis and results of Phase 2 of the research. Headway analysis revealed that passenger car equivalents (PCEs) differed for various speed ranges and modified PCE’s for various speed groups were applied in calculating capacity. The authors recommended a model to be used for calculating work zone capacity that incorporates base capacity, PCEs for various speed groups, adjustment factors related to specific work zone characteristics, and number of lanes open through the work zone.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2006
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Lane Closure; Short-term Stationary; Temporary Traffic Control; Work Zone Capacity