Modern Solutions to Safe and Efficient Work Zone Travel

Annually, hundreds of lives are lost in roadway construction and maintenance work zones. There are concerns that aside from distracted driving, the traveling public regularly fails to identify and react properly to warning signs associated with maintenance of traffic in these highway work zones. There are many best practices available for work zone travel improvement and recent movement to Smarter Work Zones (SWZ). The Smarter Work Zones initiative promotes the use of innovative strategies to minimize work zone impacts and use technology applications to dynamically manage work zone impacts. Further, there are new approaches being tested and used across the country to grab the attention of the traveling public and have them respond properly to the work zone traffic control information. This would include the use of new and innovative technologies for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for dynamic management of work zone traffic impacts, such as queue and speed management. Much of the public is aware of other technological solutions that provide guidance to travellers (WAZE, Google Maps, etc). Other data collection techniques involve the use of cellular location data and feedback to monitor queuing and suggest alternate routes. Research is needed to identify best practices in leveraging technology to assist the traveling public in navigating roadway maintenance or construction work zones or further simply avoiding the congestion associated with these DOT efforts all together. The research should address two primary research goals: 1) develop a guidance document for implementation of Smarter Work Zone technologies with adaptive and attention capturing technologies; and 2) develop guidance for the use of mobile device data and analytics for adaptive work zone devices and congestion reduction through rerouting and alternative routing via crowd sourcing applications (WAZE, Google Maps, etc.). The research objectives will be achieved through the completion of research tasks to be described by the research team that best addresses the research objectives. Possible tasks may include: 1) State Department of Transportation Surveys; 2) examination of case studies and best practices; 3) development of guidance documents; 4) conduct an exploratory workshop for refinement; and 5) implement a proof of concept demonstration on a state DOT project. Construction staff and contractors working on DOT projects will use the results of the research to implement safer work zones utilizing technology that is currently available today.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 10-109

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, Camille

  • Start Date: 20200520
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739633
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 10-109
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 3:06PM