For the I-64 reconstruction project, MoDOT has been reconstructing approximately 10 miles of the highway since Jan. 2008. Reconstruction is being carried out in multiple stages at different sections of the highway, but during each stage, all roadways of the section are completely closed. The closing of roadways prompted traffic safety engineers to question: Could closing the roadways possibly contribute to more (or less) accidents than before? And, if noticeable changes existed in the number and types of accidents, are the changes due to closing roadways? This study aims to answer these questions by examining crash data before and after the roadway closings and by providing scientific explanations to the changes if any.
This study seeks the evidential differences in the crashes before and after the closure, and provides scientific explanation of the changes.
A better understanding of the safety impacts of the lane-closured reconstruction will assist transportation agencies to enhance safety performance when they plan or carry out highway reconstructions with total lane closure.
On January 2, 2008, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) closed all roadways of I-64 for reconstruction purposes. During the planning stages of this reconstruction project, the plan to close all roadways was met with concern from many aspects, inciting questions from traffic safety engineers and even the general public alike: Could closing the roadways possibly contribute to more (or less) crashes than before? And, if noticeable changes existed in the number and types of crashes, are the changes due to closing roadways or any other influencing factors? This study aims to answer these questions by examining crash data before and after the closure, and by providing scientific explanations to the changes if any. The first step in this study is to collect data that is directly and indirectly related to the crashes to be thoroughly examined using various statistical techniques. Adopting the hypothetical testing techniques, for example, traffic safety related conjectures will be tested and verified. Spatial analysis, using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, will also be applied to identify any possible relationships between the crashes and their locations. By providing a comprehensive and objective evaluation of crashes before and after the roadway closing for reconstruction projects, the results from this study are expected to help state DOTs and US DOT in assessing the roadway reconstruction project with closing roadways.