Construction Work Zone SafetyAuthor/Presenter: Huebschman, Christopher R.; Garcia, Camilo; Bullock, Darcy M.; Abraham, Dulcy M.
The need of maintaining safety of motorists and workers during periods of construction activities on interstates has prompted the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to initiate a study aimed at improving the safety in work zones on rural interstates. The two main objectives of the project are 1) determine if active warning devices or improved signing have an impact in work zone safety and 2) determine if it is appropriate to consider temporary roads and bridges during construction activity on interstates in an effort to maintain two lanes open at all times. This report describes the methods used to meet the objectives set forth by INDOT. The report has been subdivided into four major parts. A review of current work zone practices was conducted in neighboring states and abroad, and is presented in the first part of the report. An evaluation of several traffic management technologies that are currently available for interstate work zones was performed. The goal of the evaluation was to determine the benefit INDOT would gain from using a technology of this type. The third part of the report presents the experimentation and testing conducted during the research project. This part discusses the accident data evaluation conducted in several interstate work zone projects in the state of Indiana. This portion of the report also presents the description of the test pilot project that included the deployment and evaluation of a series of fixed signs in conjunction with variable message signs in the I-65/US-30 reconstruction project near Merrillville, IN. The fourth part of the report covers the evaluation conducted to determine the feasibility of maintaining two lanes open at all times during work zones on interstates. An economic model was developed to provide INDOT with a preliminary tool for deciding if two lanes open should be maintained in a particular project. Along with the model is a case study that provides INDOT with an example of the staging required to complete the highway project in several seasons.