Developing a Methodology to Evaluate Detours for Major Construction Projects in the Era of Real-Time Route Guidance (Project D3)

On major road construction projects, maintaining agencies typically designate detour routes and provide detour information to motorists. In the era of real-time traffic information and in-vehicle route guidance, it is not clear to what extent this detour information is followed or if all components are necessary. An example is the current project to reconstruct Interstate 20/59 in downtown Birmingham, in which a 1.5 mile segment of the interstate has been completely closed for a duration of over 1 year. Prior to construction this segment carried approximately 160,000 vehicles per day, so the traffic diversions are significant, but it is not clear to what extent motorists are using the detour routes designated and signed by the Alabama DOT or the detour information being provided through the media. Understanding how the regional network has been affected can provide useful information for future projects involving closures of major facilities. Using big data analytics and traveler surveys, this project will attempt to quantify the extent to which motorists have used designated detour routes or chosen to use alternate routes, what means they have used to make those choices, and what the impact has been on local and regional congestion. The goal is to provide insight on how motorists make detour choices with the abundance of traffic information available to them and develop a methodology for creating detour plans for large construction projects to assist travelers and minimize congestion impacts.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The draft final report associated with this project is currently out on peer review. We anticipate this project will be completed by December 2022.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)

    University of Florida
    365 Weil Hall
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32611
  • Project Managers:

    Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Alabama, Birmingham

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    1075 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL  United States  35294
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sullivan, Andrew

  • Start Date: 20191115
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01729869
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center (STRIDE)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747104
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 30 2020 9:05PM