Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
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Work Zone and Traffic Analysis Technical Resources

The resources on this page provide guidance, procedures, and recommendations for analyzing work zone impacts and identifying impact mitigation strategies.

Full Road Closure Analysis

Colorado DOT Report: Full Closure Strategic Analysis

The Colorado DOT (CDOT) report, Full Closure Strategic Analysis (PDF 2.5MB), provides a decision process for evaluating full roadway closures for construction and maintenance activities and determining if the closure should be approved or denied by CDOT Traffic personnel. The study reviewed current full closure practices in Colorado and throughout the country, gathered stakeholder input, and employed an iterative development process to reach a systematic decision tool that can be applied to judge the merits of full closure scenarios. The report includes case studies illustrating how the decision process can be applied to nine full closure projects.

Lane Closure Analysis

Alabama Department of Transportation

The Alabama DOT (ALDOT) Work Zone Lane Closure Analysis Model (PDF 1.9MB) report presents the results of research done to determine the need for an update of the queue estimation portion of ALDOT's lane closure analysis tool, a Microsoft Excel-based "Lane Rental Model" whose work zone capacity values are based on the 1994 Highway Capacity Manual. The report discusses the tool's strengths and weaknesses, how it compares to other work zone traffic prediction models, data collected to test and validate the tool, and recommendations for updating the tool.

Behavior Study of Merge Practices for Drivers at Work Zone Closures

Behavior Study of Merge Practices for Drivers at Work Zone Closures describes the findings of a study to identify which driver behaviors are the most detrimental to work zone traffic flow and safety during work zone lane closures. The report concludes with recommendations on traffic control techniques to prevent these behaviors, such as late merge to prevent queue jumpers and longitudinal rumble strips to discourage vehicles from straddling the closing and merging lanes.

Florida Department of Transportation

A three-part Florida DOT (FDOT) report, Impact of Lane Closures on Roadway Capacity, describes research to develop new models for planning lane closures on two-lane and arterial roadways.

New Jersey Department of Transportation

The New Jersey DOT (NJDOT) report, Development of Uniform Standards for Allowable Lane Closure, evaluates procedures for determining allowable lane closure hours to perform maintenance, construction, resurfacing, regional permit, and major access permit work on New Jersey State highways and develops a uniform process that considers the impacts of lane closures on traffic and productivity. QuickZone was used to analyze long term lane closures and the Rutgers Interactive Lane Closure Application tool was used to analyze short term lane closures.

Oregon Department of Transportation

The Oregon DOT's Work Zone Traffic Analysis Methodology is used to estimate and manage project and corridor work zone delays, the methodology predicts the hours of the day when lanes or shoulders can be reasonably closed and the approximate queue length that would develop during such closures.

Tennessee Department of Transportation

The Tennessee DOT's (TDOT) Lane Closure Decision Support System (LCDSS) is a web-based tool developed by TDOT to estimate queue length and delay for lane closures on Tennessee roads. The LCDSS User Manual describes how to use the tool.

Overall Impacts Assessment and Mitigation Process and Strategies

AASHTO/FHWA Domestic Scan on Work Zone Assessment, Data Collection, and Performance Measurement (NCHRP 08-04)

Results of March 2010 scan looking at how 14 State agencies are planning for, monitoring, and managing work zone performance.

  • Final Report (PDF 3.8MB)
  • Summary Report (HTML, PDF 66KB)
  • Brochure (HTML, PDF 1.9MB)
  • Webinar recording - Provides an overview of the scan findings and recommendations, as well a presentation on some Ohio DOT practices identified during the scan.

Highway Construction Coordination to Minimize Traffic Impacts

This NCHRP report (PDF 1MB) provides examples of coordinated highway construction projects and recommendations for agencies interested in implementing enhanced construction coordination while maintaining reasonable levels of traffic flow.

Maryland State Highway Administration

The Maryland SHA (MdSHA) Work Zone Analysis Guide provides guidance to designers and other staff on work zone traffic analysis methods. The guide has two sections: one focuses on arterials and the other focuses on freeways. Each section presents guidance and information on mobility thresholds, traffic analysis tools, determining the study network, data collection, traffic modeling, and the recommended analysis procedure. The analysis procedure MdSHA uses for both arterials and freeways is similar, beginning with determining the objective of the analysis, then collecting all necessary data, modeling existing conditions and alternatives, determining if the alternative meets mobility thresholds, and recommending an alternative.

To help with the analysis, MdSHA developed several tools, including MD-QuickZone (a modified version of FHWA's QuickZone tool) and the Lane Closure Analysis Program (LCAP). After evaluating all feasible alternatives for work zone configurations and potential mitigation measures, MdSHA recommends that the results of the impacts analysis be summarized in a report, along with the justification for the alternative selected. The guide includes a template for the impacts analysis report, examples of analysis reports for several different types of projects, and a checklist to help ensure that the analysis is complete and has considered all necessary factors. The MdSHA Work Zone Safety and Mobility Web Site provides additional resources for implementing the Rule.

Minnesota Department of Transportation

The Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) developed a Work Zone Mobility Impact Assessment Decision Tree (PDF 82KB) to be used for all road projects to identify the potential impacts the project will have on mobility through the work zone and to provide guidelines for developing strategies to mitigate the impacts. To facilitate the use of the decision tree, MnDOT recommends that each district or local road authority develop and implement a general traffic delay restriction policy for their jurisdiction that includes restrictions by time of day, day of week, and seasonal/special events, and may specify allowed durations or exceptions. MnDOT also developed a work zone impact considerations worksheet (PDF 42KB) to use in conjunction with the decision tree to help identify project impacts and potential mitigation strategies. Both of these items are included in Minnesota's Work Zone Safety and Mobility Policy (PDF 219KB). The outcome of the decision tree is the documentation of the mitigation strategies in the appropriate level of MnDOT transportation management plan (TMP) for the project.

New Jersey Department of Transportation

The New Jersey DOT (NJDOT) Traffic Mitigation Guidelines for Work Zone Safety and Mobility (PDF 1MB) presents guidance for consideration of traffic impacts and mitigation strategies for roadway reconstruction projects. Section 2 describes a process to assess the level of traffic mitigation needed for a project and estimate order of magnitude costs for traffic mitigation. It provides an overview of the primary and secondary project characteristics or impacts that could influence the need for traffic mitigation and the extent and type of mitigation strategies chosen. NJDOT uses expected delay and road user cost as the main factors in determining the needed traffic mitigation level. To assess impacts, the NJDOT Division of Project Planning and Development acquires 24 hour weekday and weekend truck/car counts for the project area. The Designer uses this data to understand traffic impacts associated with various lane closure alternatives and evaluates the alternatives on a 24 hour basis to determine when there will be queues. In the absence of up-to-date traffic data or in addition to the quantitative impact analysis, traffic impacts can also be assessed qualitatively. The Guidelines include sample worksheets that are used to quantitatively and qualitatively assess impacts. NJDOT uses the findings of the impacts assessment to determine if a project is low, moderate, or high impact. The classification then guides the selection of traffic mitigation strategies for the project.

Resources to Address Construction Noise

FHWA Web site that provides resources for addressing and mitigating the impacts of construction noise.

Strategic Approaches at the Corridor and Network Level to Minimize Disruption from the Renewal Process

This report from second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Renewal Project R11 documents the development of the work zone impact and strategy estimator (WISE) - a decision support software system designed to help evaluate the impact of work zones and determine strategies to reduce those impacts. Project R11 also produced a WISE User Guide, which explains how to use the software.

Synthesis of Procedures to Forecast and Monitor Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts

This report provides information on what is being done by state transportation agencies to plan, manage, operate, and evaluate work zone safety and mobility.

Techniques for Effective Highway Construction Projects in Congested Urban Areas

This NCHRP report (PDF 5.1MB) identifies strategies and successful practices used by transportation agencies to deal effectively with the challenges and impacts of construction projects in congested urban corridors.

Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects

Work Zone Impacts Assessment: An Approach to Assess and Manage Work Zone Safety and Mobility Impacts of Road Projects (HTML, PDF 10MB) presents a general approach for work zone impacts assessment and provides examples of how agencies are currently assessing and managing work zone impacts.

Road User Cost Analysis

New Jersey Department of Transportation

The New Jersey DOT Road User Cost Manual describes work zone and traffic characteristics, explains possible work zone road user cost components, and provides a step by step procedure to calculate road user costs. The Manual includes example problems, default hourly traffic percentages, and computation worksheets.

Utah Department of Transportation

Development of a Statewide User Cost Manual for Rural Work Zones in Utah (PDF 615KB) documents research conducted to develop a framework for a Utah DOT Statewide Road User Cost (RUC) manual for work zones, focusing in particular on rural work zones. Includes a draft outline for the RUC manual, results of a literature review on how various State DOTs are determining work zone road user costs, research methodology, preliminary results, and conclusions drawn from the study.

Work Zone Road User Costs - Concepts and Applications

Work Zone Road User Costs - Concepts and Applications (HTML, PDF 2.9MB) provides information on performing work zone road user cost (RUC) analysis, including possible RUC components that agencies can select depending on work zone scenario being analyzed, step by step RUC computation instructions, and applications in Maintenance of Traffic alternative analysis, project delivery/contracting strategies, and benefit-cost analysis. A webinar presenting information from the guide was also held.

Safety/Crash Analysis

Construction Project Administration and Management for Mitigating Work Zone Crashes and Fatalities: An Integrated Risk Management Model

Construction Project Administration and Management for Mitigating Work Zone Crashes and Fatalities: An Integrated Risk Management Model (PDF 1.4MB) examines ways to mitigate the risk of highway accidents and fatalities in work zones and presents a formal risk management mode that can be used to identify, assess, and respond to risks across all stages of a project.

Kansas Department of Transportation

Determining the Major Causes of Highway Work Zone Accidents in Kansas describes characteristics of crashes in Kansas highway work zones, risk factors that contributed to the crashes, and analysis to help develop effective countermeasures.

Treating Potential Back-of-Queue Safety Hazards

Treating Potential Back-of-Queue Safety Hazards (PDF 3.4MB) highlights methods to analyze work zone impacts and queue lengths and provides strategies that can help mitigate potential back-of-queue hazards.

Utah Department of Transportation

Evaluation of Utah Work Zone Practices (PDF 4MB) describes research to review the current state of the art in work zone design and operations in Utah. As a result of this research, an evaluation tool called the Work Zone Safety Assessment Risk Analysis Tool (WZ-SARA) was developed to quantify the safety of work zone setup. The spreadsheet-based tool helps identify areas of concern within a work zone, and issues that should be addressed quickly. It also provides a method to evaluate the impacts that improvements may have on work zone safety overall.

Work Zone Safety Data Collection and Analysis Guide

The Work Zone Safety Data Collection and Analysis Guide discusses work zone safety-related data analysis methods that are effective in identifying problems, choosing safety strategies, and developing work zone crash reduction programs.

Traffic Analysis Tools

Florida Department of Transportation

Impact of Trucks on Arterial LOS and Freeway Work Zone Capacity (Part B: Freeway Work Zone Capacity) presents the results of a University of Florida study for FDOT to develop analytical models and procedures for estimating freeway work zone capacity.

Illinois Department of Transportation

WorkZoneQ is a tool developed for Illinois DOT in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) that contains a set of 8 Excel worksheets to determine capacity and compute queue length, delay, user cost, and congestion duration based on traffic information, geometric characteristics, traffic control plan, and value of time. The WorkZoneQ User Guide for Two-Lane Freeway Work Zones (PDF 1.9MB), developed by the Illinois Center for Transportation, explains the tool, describes input/output data, and walks through several example problems.

Strategies for Developing Work Zone Traffic Analysis

This no-cost, interactive, web-based training, offered by the National Highway Institute, provides an overview of how traffic analysis tools can be applied specifically to work zone analysis problems.

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume VIII: Work Zone Modeling & Simulation: A Guide for Decision Makers

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume VIII (HTML, PDF 1.9MB) provides guidance to decision-makers on the role of analytical tools in work zone planning and management, including what kind of analytical approach may be of most value in light of agency needs, complex data requirements, and staff training.

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume IX: Work Zone Modeling and Simulation - A Guide for Analysts

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume IX (HTML, PDF 15MB) targets practitioners and includes detailed real world information and examples to help guide the selection of a modeling approach. Volume IX addresses tailoring the analysis, choosing what type of approach to administer, and selecting the appropriate category of tool(s).

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

Traffic Analysis Toolbox Volume XII (HTML, PDF 13MB) provides guidance to analysts and decision-makers on analytical approaches/methods and related key considerations to perform work zone traffic analysis including alternatives analysis and decision-making. A separate Executive Summary (HTML, PDF 583KB) provides an overview of Volume XII.

Washington State Department of Transportation

Rapid Pavement Construction Tools, Materials, and Methods (PDF 8MB) describes Washington State DOT implementation, use, and experience with CA4PRS, portland cement concrete pavement panel replacement, polymer concrete, and traffic closure windows for rapid pavement construction.

Work Zone Analysis Leaflet

The Work Zone Analysis Leaflet (HTML, PDF 276KB) provides a overview of work zone analysis and how modeling and simulation can be used as part of the analysis. The leaflet includes three short examples.

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®