Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Text from 'QuickZone: A Work Zone Delay Estimation and Analysis Tool' PowerPoint Presentation

Slide 01

QuickZone — A Work Zone Delay Estimation and Analysis Tool

Matthew H. Hardy, Senior Transportation Engineer, Mitretek Systems

James J. Larkin, Senior Transportation Engineer, Mitretek Systems

Karl E. Wunderlich, Ph. D., Senior Principal Analyst, Mitretek Systems

Slide 02

What is QuickZone?

  • Work Zone Delay Impact Analysis Tool
    • FHWA-sponsored
    • Developed by Mitretek Systems
    • Available for purchase at McTrans ($200)
  • Microsoft Excel-based Application
  • Open Source Code for the Ability to Customize
  • Targeted at State and Local Traffic Construction Staff, Operations and Planning, and Construction Contractors

Three Logos: QuickZone, Strategic WorkZone Analysis Tool (SWAT), QuickZone Partnership Program

Slide 03

QuickZone Capabilities

  • Quantifies corridor delay resulting from capacity decreases in work zones
  • Identifies delay impacts of alternative construction phasing plans
  • Supports Trade-Off Analyses between construction costs and delay costs
  • Considers Alternate Phasing Schedules
    • Location along mainline
    • Time-of-day (peak vs. off-peak)
    • Season (summer vs. winter)
  • Assesses Impacts of Delay Mitigation Strategies:
    • E.g., Variable message sign deployments
    • Signal retiming on detour routes

Slide 04

QuickZone Analysis Process

Little Bras d'Or Bridge, Highway 105

Gerard Kennedy, P.Eng, Project Engineer, NS DOT&PW

  • Key bridge under repair
  • Capacity limited because of two-way, single lane operations
  • Work coincided with peak of travel season
  • Significant community concern about delays

Logo - Flag of Nova Scotia - Prince of Nova Scotia

Slide 05

Map of Nova Scotia which highlights Cape Brenton Island.

Speakers Notes: Nova Scotia is one of Canada's smaller provinces and is located on the east coast. The provincial population is just under 1 million.

Cape Breton Island is on the north - east tip of Nova Scotia and is connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway.

Slide 06

Map of Cape Brenton Island highlighting Bras d'Or.

Speakers Notes: Bras d'Or is french for "Arm of Gold" and it is the name of the large salt-water lake in the interior of Cape Breton Island.

Slide 07

Map showing Inverness, Victoria, Cape Brenton, and Boularderie Island. The map highlights Boularderie Island, and shows the Trans Canada Highway crossing Boularderie Island via the Great Bras d'Or and Little Bras d'Or bridges.

Speakers Notes: The Trans-Canada Highway runs through Cape Breton and over our site to the port of North Sydney which provides the ferry link to the province of Newfoundland. This is the primary link for the movement of people and goods to and from that province.

Boularderie Island is like "an island within and island" and the Trans Canada Highway crosses it. Access is via the Great Bras d'Or and Little Bras d'Or bridges.

Slide 08

Map showing Inverness, Victoria, Cape Brenton, and Boularderie Island. The Trans-Canada Highway is highlighted in green. A red box highlights The Little Bras d'Or bridge site demonstrating how it  provides the only access to Boularderie Island on the eastern side.

Speakers Notes: The Little Bras d'Or bridge site is provides the only access to Boularderie Island on the eastern side.

Slide 09

Map shows Highway 105, Trans Canada Highway and highlighted view of the Bridge Site.

Speakers Notes: The bride provides the only crossing over the Bras d'Or gut which connects Bras d'Or Lake with the Atlantic Ocean. Currents in the gut are very strong as the tides move in and out of the lake.

Slide 10

Photograph of Little Bras d'Or Bridge.

Speakers Notes: In the spring of 2001 a major structural rehabilitation project was started on the bridge. It consists of 4 x 100' steel girder spans and was built in 1959.

Slide 11

One-Lane Traffic During Repairs

Photograph of two-lane bridge. Vehicles are moving slowly in one lane on bridge while workers do repairs on the other lane.

Speakers Notes: The bridge carries is a two lane , two way highway. It was necessary to close one lane to carry out repairs. Traffic flow was controlled by signals, and later during peak traffic flow hours by Traffic Control Persons.

Slide 12

Photograph of Newspaper article from Tuesday, May 29, 2001, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Headline reads: "Traffic Delays cause concern." Subheading reads: "Marine Atlantic, tourist operators worry about lineups at two bridges."

Speakers Notes: As the project progressed into late spring , traffic volumes increased and motorists began to experience significant delays.

Local residents, businesses, politicians and emergency services were very vocal about the delays which resulted.

Slide 13

Photograph of Newspaper article from Wednesday, May 30, 2001. Headline reads: "Bridgework Resheduled." Subheading reads: "Traffic woes on the Little Bras d'Or span forces structural work to be done in fall."

Speakers Notes: The department had to suspend work on the bridge through the summer months and re-open the deck to two lane - two way traffic.

Slide 14

Map of Trans Canada Highway and bridge Work Zone of The Little Bras d'Or site.

The map has a legend identifying nodes and links.

Speakers Notes: The Little Bras d'Or site represents the most basic network possible. Only one route available - for example: no detours.

I used a 4- node network.

Slide 15

QuickZone Analysis

Speakers Notes: In anticipation of an upcoming project on a very busy two-lane , two way highway I started to look for tools which would help me predict the impact of a full lane closure so that I could make objective decisions on when work could take place.

The Little Bras d'Or experience had taught me some valuable lessons about traffic flow capacity and work zones.

I discovered the QuickZone software on the FHWA website and decided to see if it gave realistic predictions by inputting data from the Little Bras d'Or project. I wanted to see if it gave predictions close to what actually happened.

Slide 16

Exurban Freeway Application

Knoxville, Tennessee, QuickZone Network

Map showing the QuickZone ExUrban Freeway Application Network. The Mainline route is shown in green, the work zone in red, and the detour in blue.

Slide 17

QuickZone Partnership Program

  • Partnership Between the FHWA and State or Local DOT
    • Takes Advantage of QuickZone's Open Source Code
  • Designed to:
    • Further Improve the Software
    • Provide State and Local DOT with a Tool that Best Meets their Needs
  • Current Partners
    • Maryland SHA
    • Pennsylvania DOT
    • Ohio DOT
    • North Carolina DOT
    • Wisconsin DOT
    • Washington DOT
    • Utah DOT

Slide 18

How Can QuickZone be Customized?

  • State-specific queue-length estimation
  • Additional mitigation strategies
  • More detailed detour route volume assessment
  • Custom capacity reduction for work zones
  • Different calculations for user delay, queue estimation or cost analysis
  • Ability to import networks from other transportation modeling and simulation packages

Slide 19

Exercise #1

  • Nova Scotia Bridge Deck Replacement Case Study

Slide 20

Map of Nova Scotia

Slide 21

Map of Nova Scotia marked with recommended QuickZone detour route.

Slide 22

Map of Nova Scotia with link and nodes identified.

Slide 23

Map of Nova Scotia detailing a congested area with several links and nodes.

Slide 24


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