In North Carolina, Smart Work Zone systems increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.
Made Public Date
04/29/2008

521

Smithfield
North Carolina
United States

522

Rocky Mount
North Carolina
United States
Identifier
2008-00532
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Effect of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Work Zones: Evaluation of North Carolina Smart Work Zones - Final Report

Summary Information

This study evaluated the deployment of two Smart Work Zone systems that supported roadway resurfacing activities on Interstate 95 between April and November 2003. One of the projects took place in Nash and Halifax counties between milepost 145 and 154 near the community of Rocky Mount, and the other project was located in Johnston County between milepost 101 and 107 near the community of Smithfield. The information presented in a Smart Work Zone is based on the most current conditions which are constantly being monitored by the system throughout the duration of the construction project, providing reliable, accurate, and timely information to the motorists.

System implementation included three portable sensor trailers with cameras positioned upstream of the work area to monitor traffic conditions. The sensors collected occupancy data and the cameras provided video images of traffic conditions. Based on traffic condition data that was collected and observed, information was displayed to travelers on three portable message signs upstream of the work area with one of those signs positioned prior to the alternate route. An additional three portable message signs were then positioned along the alternate route to provide route guidance. Three levels of messages were displayed based on the traffic conditions. As an example, when no delays were detected the message might read "Real Time Traffic Info / No Delay Exits 150-141". When there were short delays, but an alternate route warning was not warranted, a typical message might read "Traffic Stopped Ahead / 15 Minute Delay". When the delay reached the point where the alternate route would provide a shorter travel time, a typical message might read "Traffic Stopped Ahead / 20 Minute Delay / Use Exit 141 As Alt.".

Although it was not feasible for the system to be turned off for evaluation purposes, there were short periods of time available when the system was not operating (due to work zone relocation activities) that enabled researchers to conduct "with" and "without" analysis. Other methods for collecting data to evaluate the system included mail-out and road-side surveys, using a portable camera system deployed as part of the work zone system, and hand-held video cameras. The data was logged by the system and examined to determine levels of congestion experienced during system deployment.

RESULTS

Using the portable and hand-held cameras at the work zone, traffic volumes were counted during periods of time when different sign messages were displayed. The evaluation of this data determined that the Smart Work Zone system increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.

Effect of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Work Zones: Evaluation of North Carolina Smart Work Zones - Final Report

Effect of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Work Zones: Evaluation of North Carolina Smart Work Zones - Final Report
Publication Sort Date
09/01/2004
Author
Bushman, Rob and Curtis Berthelot
Publisher
North Carolina DOT

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