Simulation Models for Assessment of the Impacts of Strategies for Highway Work Zones: Eight Case Studies Along Interstate Highways and State Routes in New England

As the National Highway System reaches the end of its serviceable life, transportation agencies increasingly need to focus on the preservation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of these roads. In light of significant increases in work zone activity, transportation officials and contractors are challenged to find ways to reduce the negative impacts on driver mobility. The key to addressing this challenge is to recognize potential impacts well in advance. One major tool used for this purpose is computer simulation. Many simulation models exist, some designed specifically for work zone analysis, including QUEWZ, QuickZone, CORSIM, and CA4PRS. This purpose of this paper is to present case studies that illustrate and evaluate these models for ease of use, data requirements, and ability to simulate and assess work zone strategies, shedding light on the relative reliability and accuracy of these simulation models as well as their user-friendliness and data requirements. This paper compares simulation results with actual work zone conditions in eight locations across New England. The results of this evaluation will be of interest to state and local transportation engineers responsible for planning and designing work zone strategies. This research has shown that some simulation models provide a low-risk, low-cost environment in which to test and analyze a variety of work zone alternatives. For example, QUEWZ and QuickZone were able to provide reasonable order of magnitude queue length estimates on Interstate highways that were comparable with observations made in the field. In addition, such estimates required few data, including hourly volume and roadway geometry information.


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  • Accession Number: 01151090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309160384
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3643
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:51AM