Development of a Statewide User Cost Manual for Rural Work ZonesAuthor/Presenter: Martin, Peter T; Chaudhuri, Piyali
Over recent years, the number of reconstruction and rehabilitation projects has increased significantly due to increased travel demand and a need for maintaining highway infrastructures. With the increased road rehabilitation projects, reducing congestion and delay caused by work zones and improving mobility is more important than ever. Work zones are costly in the actual construction and user delay. Today, highway agencies quantify work zone related costs and investigate methods to reduce them, which is critical to successful work zone management. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has planned to develop a Statewide Road User Cost manual for work zones. Under current procedures, UDOT engineers construct a new cost estimation method each time a contracting clause is required. This practice devours skilled employees’ time and leads to inconsistent results. A standardized method would enable personnel of varying skill levels to calculate appropriate user cost amounts quickly and consistently, saving the department both time and money. This would enable UDOT to quickly and efficiently determine the cost effectiveness of various alternatives including detours, temporary roadway or shoulder construction and off-peak hour day work.
The goal of this study is to develop the framework of the statewide road user cost manual for UDOT. This report documents the research underway at the Utah Traffic Lab (UTL) that will contribute to the development of the user cost manual. This study evaluates the impact of various work zone scenarios caused by roadway rehabilitation projects in Utah. The results for different scenarios are tabulated to construct the Road User Cost (RUC) look-up tables. These tables will assist UDOT for faster contracting and project delivery purposes.