Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program

Work Zone Road User Costs - Concepts and Applications

Chapter 6. RUC Analysis Report Structure

The nature of work zone-related decisions often is associated with scheduling, application of techniques and methods, or TMP. The decision making process evolves over different stages of the project development process: planning, preliminary engineering/design, and construction. Decision making begins at a conceptual feasibility level in the planning stage and culminates with a detailed level in the design/construction stage. Irrespective of the stage or level of detail involved in the strategy selection, a WZ RUC analysis report should provide a complete picture of work zone configuration, potential constraints and impacts, feasible alternatives, performance measures and thresholds, and recommendations, to aid in the decision making process. The report also should present the justification for the selection of the optimal strategy.

The following sections discuss the information that should be included in the report.

6.1 Background

The analysis report should begin with a background section presenting information on the project location and the limits of work. Inclusion of an area map indicating the project location, the study limits, and other nearby highways is suggested.

Information about the functional classification, project size, rural or urban area, traffic volume, traffic composition (percent trucks), and intersection descriptions should be included. Information also should be included regarding the degree of public interest and possible impacts on nearby roadways and businesses.

The background section should include information such as the project description, anticipated project duration, work zone length, existing lane widths and configuration, speed limits, horizontal curves and grades, turn restrictions, proposed changes to geometric features, existing traffic control, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Any potential right-of way and utilities conflicts should be documented.

6.2 Data Collection

This section of the report should include information about the data used in safety and traffic analysis. The report should mention whether new data or existing information was used. If new data were collected, the report should include the type of data collected, when and how the data were collected, and who collected the data. The following information is recommended for inclusion in this section:

  • Safety analysis — Historical crash rate (3 to 5 year history is recommended) by crash severity, influence area, crash geometry, and crash costs (if available).
  • Traffic data collection — Hourly or peak-hour traffic demand on the roadway where the work zone is located, as well as the nearby roadways, number of vehicles entering or leaving the highway through exit ramps, turn counts, and corresponding turn direction at intersections. Information about vehicle composition (percent by vehicle types or class), appropriate adjustment factors applied to traffic volumes to account for traffic growth, seasonal variations, or day of week should be included.
  • Work zone capacity and operational analysis—Inputs and assumptions, the estimation model used in the capacity analysis, and the results should be documented. Operational analysis performed for unsignalized and signalized intersections also should be documented.
  • Unit cost data — Travel delay, vehicle operating costs, crashes, and emissions. Any adjustment factors used in deriving unit costs should be stated.

6.3 Field Observations

This section of report should include all field activities undertaken to characterize the existing project conditions, such as:

  • Travel time studies— Data collection methodology, begin and end periods, days of the week, travel speed, distances and routes covered, sample size, and the results.
  • Sight distance analysis— Field study to review the intersection and stopping sight distance conflicts.

6.4 Discussion on the Impacts of Work Zone

This section should document any efforts undertaken to assess and address the impacts on local businesses and community. Inputs gathered at public information meetings/hearings and through facilitators/ liaison officers should be documented.

6.5 Detailed Narrative

This section should provide a detailed narrative on the proposed sequence of construction, staging, and the work zone alternatives that were considered for each construction phase. The narrative should document assumptions made and justification for including the selected alternatives. It also should include the selection criteria that were used in determining feasible alternatives.

6.6 Alternatives Analysis

This section of the report should present the analysis method, tools used, summary of impact assessment, performance measures and agency goals, advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, comparative analysis of alternatives, risk assessment, and the analysis results.

6.7 Recommendations

This section of the report should present a summary of WZ RUC analysis, a description of the preferred alternative, the justification for selection, and recommendations.

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