Enhancing Transportation: Connecting TSMO and Construction
U.S. Department of Transportation
As our existing transportation infrastructure ages and demand for travel and moving goods increases, more major rehabilitation and new capacity projects are required. This means that there are more work zones that trigger network disruptions and unexpected travel delays. These delays reduce the reliability of travel and can have a major impact on emergency responders and freight mobility.
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TSMO is integral to effective work zone management. For example, TSMO strategies can encourage travelers to use alternate routes during construction, enhancing the safety and efficiency of construction crews by reducing the number of vehicles traveling through an active work zone. More specifically, TSMO strategies can:
Construction staff also need to consider TSMO both when a project includes the installation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) or when ITS is already installed and needs to be kept operational during construction.
TSMO can increase the available capacity of transportation facilities though better management of demand and flow disruptions. This can delay the need to construct new lanes or roadways. While these decisions are generally made during planning, construction personnel should be aware of this important connection to TSMO.
Traveler Information and Public Information Campaigns
Encountering an active work zone with no prior warning about travel delays is a major cause of driver frustration. Timely and accurate traveler information is a core function of TSMO programs. Information campaigns include notifying and engaging those who might be affected by route diversions, such as business districts and nearby neighborhoods. Transportation management centers (TMC) send lane closure information through multiple channels to warn travelers ahead of time and provide routing guidance to travelers prior to and during construction activities.
Managing Work Zones for Safety, Mobility, and Efficiency
TSMO offers several important benefits to construction departments in State and local transportation agencies and to contractors working in work zones:
ITS Systems in Construction
ITS are part of many TSMO strategies. Construction projects often include building and deploying ITS infrastructure, which presents a unique set of challenges to the construction crews that integrate power and communications into the facility and connect ITS field components to a TMC or other facilities. These systems require extensive testing, and the equipment must be field-hardened for weather and maintenance and protected from theft, vandalism, and misuse. Installation crews will need specialized knowledge of TSMO strategies to ensure that they understand the importance of this equipment for managing traffic on new or improved facilities and the potential for disruption if devices fail or are misused. Some equipment may be used for managing reversible lanes, variable speed limits, dynamic message signs, and ramp meters, which can directly affect the mobility and safety of travelers.
How Has This Worked in Practice?
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Joseph Gregory, Federal Highway Administration
1 Federal Highway Administration, Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) Program Brief: ATDM and Work Zones, FHWA-HOP-16-015, 2016. Available at: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop16015/index.htm. [ Return to note 1. ]
2 Innovative End-of-queue Warning System Reduces Crashes up to 45 %, ARTBA, 2015. Available at https://www.workzonesafety.org/files/documents/training/courses_programs/rsa_program/RSP_Guidance_Documents_Download/RSP_EndOfQueueWarning_Guidance_Download.pdf. [ Return to note 2. ]
3 Evaluation of 2004 Dynamic Late Merge System for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2004. Available at: www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/workzone/doc/2004DLMS-Evaluation.pdf. [ Return to note 3. ]
4 Federal Highway Administration, Transportation Systems Management and Operations in Action, 2017, FHWA-HOP-17-025. Available at: https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop17025/. [ Return to note 4. ]
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration