Flow Characteristics at Freeway Lane ClosuresAuthor/Presenter: Rouphail, Nagui M.; Tiwari, Geetam
The findings of a limited study aimed at examining the basic characteristics of freeway traffic flow at construction zones are presented. The intent is to expand the scope of previous research efforts in this area, which have focused on the determination of point estimates of work zone capacity, under a variety of freeway lane configurations upstream of and in the vicinity of the work area. Field studies conducted in Illinois, encompassing more than 21,000 vehicle observations, were used to examine the entire range of the speed-flow relationship in the open lane of traffic. A normalizing procedure was devised to isolate and quantify the impact of work zone activity descriptors, such as the location of work relative to the traveled lanes, crew size, equipment, and other pertinent parameters, on the observed traffic speed. It was found that the effect of work activity on traffic flow is significant in periods of (a) high approach flow rates, (b) high truck percentages, and (c) intense work activity near the traveled lanes.