Addressing I-81 Transportation Needs

The report presents three studies. The first study evaluates the operation and safety of a 120-mile section of I-81 from milepost 80 to 200 (termed the Study Area) in the state of Virginia. The study demonstrated that, apart from five sections along the entire I-81 corridor in the state of Virginia, the operational characteristics are within the design level-of-service C. In terms of safety, the data suggests that the fatal crash rate along the Study Area does not appear to be higher than the national rate for similar interstate facilities. In addition, the data do not suggest any non-fatal crash safety hazards along the Study Area or for any of the Study Area segments. Furthermore, the data suggest that the Study Area experiences an injury and property damage crash rate that is lower than the national average rate. The second study describes the TruckSIM framework for modeling vehicle motion along roadway sections by considering both the longitudinal and lateral forces acting on a vehicle. In doing so, the tool reflects the impact of horizontal and vertical alignment on a vehicle's longitudinal motion. The model is capable of reading Global Positioning System (GPS) (longitude, latitude, and altitude), roadway, and vehicle data. The paper demonstrates the validity of the software modeling procedures against field data and the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) procedures and it is anticipated that by automating the design procedures and considering different vehicle and roadway characteristics on truck motion. The TruckSIM software will be of considerable assistance to traffic engineers in the design of highways. The third study evaluates the number of lane management strategies along one of the most highly traveled roadway sections of I-81 in the state of Virginia using the INTEGRATION traffic simulation software. The lane management strategies that are considered include the separation of heavy-duty trucks from light-duty traffic, the restriction of trucks to specific lanes, and the construction of climbing lanes at strategic locations. Overall, the results demonstrate that a physical separation of heavy-duty trucks from the regular traffic offers the maximum benefits in terms of efficiency, energy, and environmental benefits. The study also demonstrates that restricting trucks from the use of the leftmost lane offers the second highest benefits in terms of efficiency, energy, and environmental impacts.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

    Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
    3500 Transportation Research Plaza
    Blacksburg, VA  United States  24061

    Virginia Department of Transportation

    1401 East Broad Street
    Richmond, VA  United States  23219

    Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center

    Pennsylvania State University
    201 Transportation Research Building
    University Park, PA  United States  16802-4710
  • Authors:
    • Rakha, Hesham Ahmed
    • Yu, Bin
    • Lee, Suzanne E
    • Medina, Alejandra
    • Ahn, Kyoungho
    • Arafeh, Mazen
    • El-Shawarby, Ihab
  • Publication Date: 2007-6-18


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 68p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01056134
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VPI-R-01
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2007 2:37PM