Using Simulation Models to Assess the Impacts of Highway Work Zone Strategies: Case Studies Along Interstate Highways in Massachusetts and Rhode IslandAuthor/Presenter: Moriarty, Kevin D.; Collura, John; Knodler, Michael; Ni, Daiheng; Heaslip, Kevin
As the National Highway System reaches the end of its serviceable life, it becomes necessary for transportation agencies to focus on the preservation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of these roads. With significant increases in the amount of work zone activity, transportation officials and contractors are challenged with finding ways to reduce the negative impacts on driver mobility. The key to addressing this challenge is to recognize these impacts well in advance. One major tool used for this purpose is computer simulation. There are many simulation models in existence, some of which are designed specifically for work zone analysis. Examples of these models include QUEWZ, QuickZone, and CA4PRS. QuickZone and QUEWZ are designed to estimate delays, queues, and delay-related costs associated with traffic impacts created by work zones. CA4PRS estimates the maximum distance of
highway that can be rehabilitated or reconstructed with various project staging plans and resource constraints. This paper includes two case studies that illustrate and evaluate these models in terms of their ease of use, data requirements, and ability to simulate and assess work zone strategies along Interstate 91 in Greenfield, MA and Interstate 95 in West Greenwich, RI. The evaluation sheds light on the relative accuracy of these simulation models as well as their user-friendliness and data requirements. The results of this evaluation will be of interest to State and local transportation engineers responsible for planning and designing work zone strategies.