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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume XII:
Work Zone Traffic Analysis – Applications and Decision Framework

Chapter 8. Analysis Report Structure

This chapter presents the essential components of an MOTAA report, including:

  • Introduction and project background;
  • Existing and future conditions;
  • Alternatives considered;
  • Alternatives analysis and decision framework methodology;
  • Analysis results, recommended alternative, and mitigation strategies; and
  • Post implementation and monitoring plan.

8.1 Introduction and Project Background

This section of the report provides background information on the project, the constraints, and the roles and responsibilities of staff and stakeholders involved. It contains the following components:

  • Project Area – This component of the project background section includes information on the location of the project or study area.
  • Project Description – This component describes the general scope of and the need for the project. It covers details regarding the project type, the proposed changes and concept plans for the project, and the general schedule and time line of the work involved.
  • Project Goals and Objectives – After providing an overview of and the need for the project, the agency identifies the specific goals that the agency would like to achieve in relation to the work zone-related efforts of the project. Additionally, it specifies the objectives that are need in order to achieve those goals.
  • Project Constraints – In this section, the agency details the constraints associated with the project, including any concerns regarding the timing of the project, impacts on existing facilities, communities, and businesses, political sensitivity of the project, and potential conflicts with adjacent projects.

8.2 Existing and Future Conditions

This section of the report describes the existing and predicted future conditions along the project area. The existing conditions section provides an overview of the current facility characteristics (i.e., geometries, lane configurations, etc.), traffic operations (traffic controllers, meters, and signal timings/phasing), traffic data (volumes, speeds, and travel times), and crash data. For describing the future conditions of the corridor, the section includes traffic growth estimates, as well as traffic predictions during construction. This section also provides an overview of any politically sensitive issues associated with the project, as well as any potential community, business, and environmental concerns.

8.3 Alternatives Considered

This section of the report presents the various work zone alternatives considered for the project. These alternatives include options for construction sequencing or phasing/staging. The section should provide a description and/or concept plans for each alternative. Additionally, the section should detail any assessments or analysis methodology(s) used to eliminate or prioritize alternatives. Additionally, it also should detail any type of mitigation strategies that may be incorporated with the project to fully capture the range of impacts during the alternatives analysis/modeling stage.

8.4 Alternatives Analysis and Decision Framework Methodology

This section of the report should provide an overview of the methodology employed to evaluate and compare each of the alternatives and the decision framework used to recommend a preferred alternative. This section includes three components: the modeling/analysis efforts needed for assessing the impacts of the alternatives, any additional qualitative and quantitative considerations that provide supplemental information for the impact assessment, and the decision framework selected.

Alternatives Analysis Methodology

The section on the alternatives analysis methodology should include the following components:

  • The necessary measures of effectiveness (MOE) and/or thresholds related to achieving the project goals and objectives;
  • The data collection efforts; and
  • Overview of the modeling/analysis tool selected, modeling efforts needed, and justification for tool selection.

Qualitative and Quantitative Considerations

This section should account for additional qualitative and quantitative considerations that may not be fully captured in the modeling/analysis effort identified in the previous step. This could account for the additional factors specified in Chapter 8 of this document. Examples of additional considerations include:

  • Traffic and travel demand considerations;
  • Business and community impacts;
  • Environmental impacts;
  • Construction/contracting strategies and considerations; and
  • Financial considerations, such as Road User Costs.

Decision Framework

The final component of this section of the report should detail how the modeling/analysis results, as well as the assessment of additional qualitative and quantitative considerations were factored into the final criteria used for comparing and choosing among the different alternatives. This component should describe the methodology employed to prioritize the factors used in the development of the criteria. The description of the decision framework selected should detail how the prioritized factors were incorporated into the criteria utilized in comparing and choosing amongst alternatives.

8.5 Analysis Results, Recommended Alternative, and Mitigation Strategies

This section should provide a synopsis of the analysis results and detail how a preferred alternative was chosen. The section provides details on the performance measures for the analysis and the results of the decision-making criteria employed. Additionally, this section also should detail any selected mitigation strategies incorporated into the recommended alternative(s) in order to minimize the work zone’s impact on travel, the surrounding community, businesses, and the environment.

8.6 Post-implementation and Monitoring Plan

The final section should include any plans for monitoring the performance of the work zone during the construction period. Monitoring post-implementation of the project aids in validating the impact assessment and improves future analysis efforts for similar work zone projects. The section should include information for the following:

  • Monitoring requirements;
  • Data needs and performance measures for the monitoring effort; and
  • Plan for using monitoring data and results to feed back into the impact assessment.

Table 80 features a checklist that summarizes the components described in this chapter.

Table 80. MOTAA Reporting Components Checklist
A. Project Background
  • Project area
  • Project description
  • Project type
  • Proposed changes
  • Concept plans
  • Proposed construction staging/phasing
  • General schedule and time line
  • Project goals and objectives
  • Project constraints
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Managers, key staff, stakeholders, and review committees
B. Existing and Future Conditions
  • Existing facility characteristics (current geometries)
  • Existing and historical traffic data (volumes, speeds, bottlenecks, etc.)
  • Existing traffic operations (traffic controllers, ramp meters, etc.)
  • Historical incident and crash data
  • Local community and business concerns/issues
  • Environmental concerns/issues
  • Political sensitivity concerns/issues
  • Traffic growth rates
  • Traffic predictions during construction
C. Alternatives Considered
  • Description of alternatives considered. Alternatives can consist of:
    • Construction approach (phasing/staging strategies)
    • Work zone impacts management strategies
  • Preliminary alternatives analysis (i.e., fatal flaw analysis)
  • Potential mitigation strategies to be incorporated into impacts assessment
D. Alternatives Analysis and Decision Framework Methodology
  • Impact assessment methodology
    • Measures of effectiveness and/or thresholds
    • Description of data collection efforts needed
    • Analysis tool/methodology selection and justification
  • Other qualitative and quantitative considerations – These could include additional factors considered when comparing and choosing among different alternatives, such as:
    • Traffic and demand considerations – These include traffic operations and travel demand management strategies
    • Business and community impacts
    • Environmental impacts
    • Construction and contracting strategies
    • Financial Considerations (including Road User Cost)
  • Decision framework methodology
    • Development of criteria: methodology used to prioritize factors used in comparing and evaluating alternatives
    • Decision framework for comparing and choosing amongst alternatives – Selection of methodology and justification
E. Analysis Results, Recommended Alternative, and Mitigation Strategies
  • Synopsis of analysis/modeling results and performance measures
  • Recommended alternative or combination of alternatives and justification
  • Selected project coordination, construction, contracting strategies
  • Selected transportation operations and travel demand management strategies
  • Selected safety and enforcement strategies
  • Selected public and traveler information strategies
F. Post Implementation and Monitoring Plan
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Monitoring data needs
  • Performance measures for monitoring
  • Plan for feeding back monitoring results into the impact assessment methodology and analysis
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