Smart Work Zone (SWZ) systems can detect congestion, display travel times, and recommend alternate routes. Benefit-to-cost ratios range from 10:1 to 12:1.

A news report highlights findings from smart work zone projects in Wichita.

Date Posted

Cost benefit: Wichita eases workzone congestion

Summary Information

The Kansas DOT implemented a Smart Work Zone (SWZ) system during the I-235/US-54 interchange project in Wichita. The overall goals were to improve safety by expanding merge zones to remove potentially dangerous merge points near work zones, and to reduce delay by monitoring traffic conditions with cameras and traffic sensors, and displaying travel times and alternate route information on roadside dynamic message signs.


Kansas DOT (KDoT) indicated the system design kept traffic moving safely, both through the construction site and along alternate routes. Large diversion rates (50 to 70 percent) were reported when delays of seven minutes or more were posted for established commuter routes. Preliminary data indicated a benefit-to-cost ratio of 10:1.

Results from a previous study corroborated the findings. In 2017, US-54 and the I-135 were the focus of a detailed benefit-to-cost study that compared the results of a 2009 pre-deployment exercise, aimed at identifying the best locations for the future installation of ITS equipment along the two routes, with later data derived from devices that were actually deployed. The costs were averaged between individual ITS projects and annual operations and maintenance expenditures. Total delay savings attributed to ITS were estimated at 217.17 hours on US-54 and 170.67 hours on I-135. Comparing the annual benefits of $14,351,501 to the annual cost of $1,178,766 resulted in a benefit-to-cost ratio of 12:1.