Evaluating the Feasibility of Incorporating Mobility-Related Work Zone Traffic Control Performance Measurements in Highway Reconstruction Contracts

Adding incentive and/or disincentive terms to highway construction project specifications is a topic of concern in recent years by state departments of transportation (DOTs); however, types of performance measures to be used, their measurement methods, and their expected accuracy levels have not yet been well defined. Unless these items are well defined, it will be difficult to implement such measures as part of highway contracts. A domestic scan program conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Best Practices in Work Zone Assessment, Data Collection, and Performance Measurements (NCHRP Scan Team Report Scan 08-04) found that there was no case of a dynamic mobility performance measurement among the states visited by the experts. In order to incorporate such a performance evaluation procedure in highway construction project specifications, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) needs to evaluate the feasibility of including such mobility performance measures and the acceptance of such terms by contractors. Hence, there is a need to conduct research, first to evaluate the feasibility of implementing such dynamic performance measurements at desired accuracy, second to determine what types of measurements can be implemented statewide for consistency in its implementation, and third to evaluate whether it is possible to implement dynamic mobility performance evaluation with existing technologies or whether it is needed to test state-of-the-art technologies to dynamically collect necessary data in terms of costs and manpower requirements. Mobility-related performance measurement at work zone is a key to evaluate the impact of construction work on users because delays are used for user cost determination. Static analysis can be done for estimating the performance but static analysis cannot provide real impacts of construction on users. Once dynamic evaluation of mobility performance of work zone traffic control measures is feasible and reliable, it will help both UDOT and contractors estimate the impact of construction work on users more accurately than static evaluations, thus making the implementation of incentive/disincentive policy in highway construction contracts more realistic. This is the motivation of this proposed research. The following are the four objectives of the proposed study: (1) Evaluate thoroughly the findings of NCHRP Best Practices in Work Zone Assessment, Data Collection, and Performance Measurements and other literature related to dynamic data collection of mobility performance measurements to find how much effort is involved to obtain accurate dynamic measurements; (2) Identify potential performance measurement technologies currently available (state of the practice - such as microwave sensor and license plate identification technology) and currently under development or testing (state of the art - such as use of Bluetooth technology or use of vehicle signal identification technology such as those used for the I-15 CORE project) to determine which measurement methods will be most beneficial to UDOT and contractors; (3) Identify stakeholders, both UDOT and contractors, and invite them to organize a task force for determining criteria for applying mobility performance based specifications in highway construction project contracts; and (4) Recommend future directions for applying mobility-related work zone traffic control performance measures to UDOT's highway construction project contracts, including a plan for testing selected mobility performance measuring technologies and estimation of potential costs for implementing selected performance measurement programs. When the research determined if collecting mobility-related performance data would be possible with existing technologies or technologies under testing, UDOT's Construction Division and Preconstruction Division can collect data to dynamically evaluating work zone traffic control performance, incorporate mobility-related performance measures as part of their highway construction project specifications, and negotiate the consequences of excessive mobility reduction with contractors to further improve work zone traffic conditions, reduce unnecessary congestion and associated pollution, and better serve the users. This project studies the feasibility of using mobility performance based evaluation of highway work zones on freeways and major arterials. The proposed study, the first one of this type for UDOT, focuses solely on major freeways and rural major arterials because access to these facilities are limited and easier to control the quality of measured values. Once testing of performance measurements on these high-type facilities produces favorable results, application of similar technologies to surface street work zones will be proposed.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Utah Department of Transportation

      4501 South 2700 West
      Project Development
      Salt Lake City, UT  USA  84114-8380
    • Project Managers:

      Nichol, Kevin

    • Performing Organizations:

      Brigham Young University

      Provo, UT  USA  84602-4081
    • Principal Investigators:

      Saito, Mitsu

    • Start Date: 20111001
    • Actual Completion Date: 20130901
    • Source Data: RiP Project 33617

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01472091
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Utah Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: 12-9108, UT11.301
    • Files: RiP
    • Created Date: Feb 13 2013 1:00AM