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Mid-America Transportation Center

Evaluation of Work Zone Software Programs: Phase 2 - Validation Using Field Data

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Praveen Edara (edarap@missouri.edu 573-882-1900)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Carlos Sun (csun@missouri.edu 573-884-6330)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    In 2008, the University of Missouri evaluated several software programs for work zone traffic impact analysis and identified appropriate analytical tools for assessing traffic impacts at different types of work zones. This research was funded by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Three software programs - QuickZone, VISSIM, and CA4PRS were evaluated, and a customized spreadsheet for Missouri conditions, WZ Spreadsheet, was developed. WZ Spreadsheet produces queue length and delay estimates with minimum amount of input data. The current project is aimed at calibrating and validating the software programs using real world data. Performance measures such as queue length and delay obtained from the programs will be compared with the values observed in the field. The accuracy of results produced by each program will be quantified so that the users can attribute a level of confidence to the program's outputs. Thus the software programs will be calibrated to provide reliable and documented results so as to improve traffic operations and safety in work zones.
    Research Objective
    The main research objective of this project is to calibrate and validate the work zone software using field data. Performance measures such as queue lengths, travel times, and capacity will be used.
    Potential Benefits
    This project directly supports three key focus areas of MATC and USDOT - state of good repair, economic competitiveness, and environmental sustainability. By developing and calibrating tools that accurately assess work zone traffic impacts, DOTs can better plan and schedule work zones on roadways. Better planning will ensure that the limited resources are wisely spent in maintaining the existing roadway network. The work zone software will provide guidance on time periods having least impact on traffic flow, thus ensuring the safety and economic competitiveness of the regions served by those roadways. Environmental impact of traffic congestion resulting from work zone lane closures can be accurately assessed using the work zone software tools and therefore plans to minimize these impacts can be put in place by DOTs.
    Abstract
    In 2008, the University of Missouri evaluated several software programs for work zone traffic impact analysis and identified appropriate analytical tools for assessing traffic impacts at different types of work zones. This research was funded by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). Three software programs - QuickZone, VISSIM, and CA4PRS were evaluated, and a customized spreadsheet for Missouri conditions, WZ Spreadsheet, was developed. WZ Spreadsheet produces queue length and delay estimates with minimum amount of input data. The current project is aimed at calibrating and validating the software programs using real world data. Performance measures such as queue length and delay obtained from the programs will be compared with the values observed in the field. The accuracy of results produced by each program will be quantified so that the users can attribute a level of confidence to the program's outputs. Thus the software programs will be calibrated to provide reliable and documented results so as to improve traffic operations and safety in work zones.
    Project Amount
    $ 14,926