Cost of Congestion Due to Incidents on Freeways

There is often a need to convert reductions in roadway clearance time to user delay savings when alternative procedures for managing incidents on roadways are compared. In the past, The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has used statistics from other states to estimate the cost of delay due to each minute of non-lane-blocking and lane-blocking incidents. Direct usage of cost values developed by other state DOTs can either overestimate or underestimate the actual cost of these events in Virginia. This project proposes to develop Virginia delay cost values by (1) developing a method for estimating the extent to which an incident may cause congestion and impact freeway operations, and (2) establishing a procedure for determining the costs related to those congestion events in Virginia. This study will produce a spreadsheet tool for VDOT staff to calculate and implement the proposed methodology and values.