Use of Variable Speed Limits in Construction Zones: Concept of OperationsAbstract:
The Utah Department of Transportation is looking to implement smart work zone technology to manage the prudent reduction of speeds within work zones while minimizing the effects of the work zone on the traveling public. Specifically, technology related to portable variable speed limit (PVSL) signs will be investigated to help significantly reduce regulatory speed limits in active construction work zones and address the objective of improving safety for the construction personnel and traveling public within work zones.
The desired system is one that involves dynamic management of traffic through active work zones, or work areas where personnel are on site and exposed to the danger of errant vehicles. The system that is envisioned is one that dynamically manages traffic speeds through active work zones by providing accurate and reliable information on speed restrictions and travel times based on real time traffic and construction conditions. A primary goal of realtime traffic management and information dissemination is to build and maintain driver trust regarding legitimacy of posted speed limits through active work zones and encourage greater compliance with reduced speed areas.
This project effort includes the preliminary engineering, contractor specifications, detailed drawings of the system requirements and recommendations, acquisition, implementation, performance monitoring, data collection, analysis and reporting on the use of PVSL in four test work zones.
This document, known as a Concept of Operations (ConOps), summarizes the recommended concept for a PVSL system and sets the groundwork for the overall system and technical course for the project. Its purpose is to convey a high-level view of the system to be developed and help stakeholders form a comprehensive and shared understanding of the needs, goals and functions of the system. The ConOps is the first part of a larger systems engineering process that is followed when developing, testing and implementing a new system or technology.