Michigan DOT (MDOT) transportation planners used simulation modeling to develop and implement work zone mobility mitigation plans for I-75 during the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project in Detroit. As one of the busiest commercial bridges in the world, access to the bridge had to be maintained throughout the project which was expected to last for 18 months (winter of 2008 to the fall 2009).
This report included findings from a literature review, several case studies, and a two day workshop where experts discussed the integration of business processes at both the operational level and the programmatic/institutional level as a way to improve traffic operations, address nonrecurring traffic congestion, and improve travel time reliability. A special focus was given to impacts on nonrecurring congestion as these factors can significantly impact travel time reliability. The following lessons were derived from relevant experience on process integration at both the operations level and the programmatic and institutional levels.
Consider integration of agency business processes early in the planning process. Agencies are less likely to miss opportunities for integration and are more likely to build systems that can expand to meet future needs.
Develop a formal change management process that will allow agencies to identify correlations between process changes and performance metrics. Agencies should compare changes in processes with changes in performance metric.
Focus on integration of business processes at the institutional or programmatic level rather than at the operations level. Processes that have support from upper levels of management are more likely to remain in place and be viewed as high priority by all levels of agency staff. At the operations level, integration can be problematic as processes vary widely and detailed coordination is required among persons responsible for carrying out specific operational initiatives.
Overall, integration of business process among agencies and stakeholders can enable greater scalability and flexibility of systems, more efficient use of staff and financial resources, and increased efficiency in operational areas that have the most influence on travel-time reliability such as incident management, work zones, planned special events, road weather management, traffic control/traffic operations, capacity/recurring congestion, and demand management.