Lane closures for work zones along freeways produce bottlenecks. These bottlenecks are problematic due to loss of capacity and excessive lane changes, which impact the facility performance represented by operational level of service, emissions, and travel time. In addition, transportation agencies opt to nighttime scheduling of work zones which, in turn, has several operational, safety, and cost impacts. The issue persists because little is known about the impacts of available temporary traffic control strategies on operations at work zones, and associated emissions, travel time, and construction scheduling. This study utilized a comprehensive literature review, a national survey of practices, and microscopic simulation experiments to document and evaluate available traffic control strategies for work zone management. Using a corridor in Birmingham, AL as a testbed, the study quantified operational, environmental, and travel time reliability impacts of four temporary traffic control strategies for work zones. Also, a performance-based work zone scheduling approach was developed to provide decision support assistance for transportation agencies. The study provided evidence that the work zone length is insignificant with respect to facility level of service, environmental impacts, and delays. Additionally, the study concluded that late merge and mainline merge metering hold great promise and should be considered for implementation in place of the early merge approach commonly used in practice today.
Publication Date: 2017
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Evaluation and Assessment; Impact Analysis; Lane Closure; Merging Control; Scheduling; Temporary Traffic Control; Traffic Delay; Travel Time; Work Zones