A Snapshot of Summer 2001 Work Zone ActivityAuthor/Presenter: Wunderlich, Karl; Hardesty, Dawn
In a study sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), researchers conducted a survey of 789 work zones posted on 13 state road closure and construction websites during a two-week snapshot of the peak summer roadwork season in 2001. The goal of this study was to catalogue the work zone related content of these websites and explore the use of the data obtained to estimate national-level statistics such as the number of miles on the National Highway System (NHS) with work zones during the peak of the summer roadwork season. The number of work zones as well as the data reported by each state varied widely, because states have different criteria for selecting work zones for posting on the web. Some states reported many work zones but provided fewer data elements while others reported on fewer work zones but provided more data elements. Attributes of roadwork that are determined early and are unlikely to change were more frequently reported, e.g., project duration and purpose. Less frequently reported elements included attributes that are difficult to predict in advance or those that change frequently (such as work zone length, and the time-of-day when lane closures occur). Predictions of delay beyond a simple advisory are rare, particularly quantitative estimates of delay.