Evaluation of a Mobile Work Zone Barrier SystemAuthor/Presenter: Gambatese, John A; Tymvios, Nicholas
A high percentage of highway maintenance activities and some construction activities are performed in a travel lane, median, or shoulder while the public travels by at relatively high speeds in very close proximity to the workers. Work zone traffic control efforts include safety measures for the workers, but current capabilities for short duration work zones can be improved in order to increase the protection of the workers. A recent advancement in work zone safety is a mobile barrier system that consists of a motorized tractor/trailer combination, and can provide complete isolation of the work area for a distance of up to 100 feet. The research presented in this report involved evaluating a mobile barrier in a variety of work zone environments, leading to a determination of its benefits and limitations to guide ODOT in future work zone safety strategies/investments. A benefit of using a mobile barrier system is the added safety provided by the isolation of workers from errant vehicles. Anticipated benefits also include: improved efficiency of work zone setup and removal; improved efficiency of the work activity as the mobile barrier can be equipped with lights, generators, variable message signs, and TMAs; and improved mobility of the work zone where multiple finite work areas are involved.