Typical traffic control and operations at work zones usually are not very effective in mitigating the work zone bottleneck. A major reason is that the common early merge behaviors limits utilizing the available capacity in the closed lane, especially under moderate to high traffic demands. Recently, using late merge strategy is encouraged to prevent early merge behavior and fully utilize the closed lane and therefore increase capacity of work zone. The development of late merge strategy was not enough to substantially improve the situation due to the lack of compliance and communication among drivers. This thesis suggests and investigates a smart work zone merge system enabled by connected vehicles. The main principle is to enhance the opportunity of cooperative late merge via the new technology, connected vehicles (CV). When connected vehicles share information and negotiate the best movements for the benefit of traffic flow, drivers will be able to receive merging suggestions. The system is called Cooperative Late Merge System (CLMS) where the layout is quiet similar to late merge system with additional advanced elements. The CLMS has been introduced and investigated by using simulation software package (VISSIM). Microscopic car-following and lane-changing models were selected and updated to fit with the main goal of the system and the purpose of this study. This paper uses Hidas (2005) lane-changing model and car-following model (Wiedemann 99) provided by VISSIM. Simulation experiment was designed to include a traditional work zone system and a late merge system in order to compare them with the performance of the CLMS. The experiment design considered eight different variables with multiple levels. Simulation output included major measures of effectiveness (MOEs) including throughput, capacity, V/C ratio, delay and queue length. The CLMS has demonstrated an improved traffic operation performance at all considered MOEs, especially, in the case of moderate traffic demand. The system is capable of increasing throughput and capacity of work zone as well as decreasing the delay and queue length at most of traffic conditions.