Measuring work zone performance
Michigan is in the process of developing policies in relation to the FHWA Final Rule. In examining and measuring work zone performance, one of the items the state is looking at is expanding the use of current proprietary software Construction Congestion Costs (CO3) used for life-cycle cost analysis.
The software provides the state with the tool to estimate and document project costs for alternative ways of maintaining traffic. Then the state can measure the impact of congestion with variables of delay, diverted vehicles, and expected queues in addition to calculating user costs to provide a common unit of measure so that traffic impacts can be summed together and compared to construction costs.
The use of the FHWA software QuickZone is also currently being investigated. In response to the Final Rule, efforts have been initiated in comparing the program results to actual delays observed in the field by manually driving through the work zone at scheduled intervals. Through the developments of ITS, other methods such as cell phone tracking or license plate readers may develop later in the future.