Investigate the Air Quality Benefits of Nighttime Construction in Nonattainment and Early Action Compact Areas

The practice of performing some work zone activities at night has been around in the US since at least the 1960s. As is the case today, early attempts at night work were initiated because officials considered it impractical to close traffic lanes on certain high-volume roadways during normal daylight hours. Currently, there is no comprehensive evaluation of the changes in emissions associated with moving construction activities to the nighttime. It is commonly expected that when construction activities are shifted to the nighttime, reduced congestion levels could result in lesser vehicle emissions. The extent and scale of this impact has not been studied in detail. There is a need for a logical approach to combine the many aspect and impacts of nighttime construction in a systematic manner to provide the necessary information for decision making on pursuing nighttime construction for a specific project. Accounting for the impact of construction scheduling is specifically of high importance for those counties that are subject to the requirements of transportation conformity. These counties include those that currently fail (non-attainment) or failed in the past (attainment-maintenance) to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the criteria pollutants defined in the Clean Air Act Amendment (CAAA) of 1970. Non-attainment and attainment-maintenance counties must develop, maintain, and implement an air quality plan to meet NAAQS. Failure to do so will result in a risk of losing federal funding for some transportation projects. The Performing Agency, or "research team", shall provide the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), or the "Receiving Agency", with a nighttime construction decision support framework as well as a quantified characterization of the expected changes of the emission from construction activity and affected traffic. This decision support framework will help the stakeholders evaluate the various factors such as cost, safety, mobility, location, air quality impacts, local considerations, etc. on a systematic basis. A series of case studies and the development of a decision support tool will provide TxDOT with practical, usable research results that can be applied to make appropriate decisions. The case studies will include estimating emissions of construction site activities as well as the affected traffic. In addition to the main objective of the study in characterizing the changes of emission in the context of regional conformity, the emission estimates will also be used in a high-level emission dispersion analysis. This analysis will help to evaluate the impact of key meteorological factors on the concentrations of pollutant emissions and the resultant air quality at and around construction zones.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Badgley, Sonya

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Farzaneh, Mohamadreza

  • Start Date: 20150212
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39914

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01567129
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6864
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2015 1:00AM