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Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Work Zone Management


ITS applications in work zones include the temporary implementation of traffic management or incident management capabilities. These temporary systems can be stand-alone implementations or they may supplement existing systems in the area during construction. Other applications for managing work zones include measures to control vehicle speeds and notify travelers of changes in lane configurations or travel times and delays through the work zones. ITS may also be used to manage traffic along detour routes during full road closures to facilitate rapid and safe reconstruction projects.


Plan adequate time to calibrate Bluetooth readers to maximize accuracy and reliability.(01/01/2014)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Use either a late lane merge system or an early lane merge system, but not both, based on agency goals and objectives for improving work zone operations. (September 2007)

Coordinate extensively with other stakeholder agencies.(1/1/2004)

Use ITS to implement a reliable communications system in work zones.(1/1/2004)

Ensure initial and ongoing success of ITS deployments by providing sufficient start-up time, maintaining flexibility, and performing maintenance needs in-house.(1/1/2004)

Place portable changeable message signs (CMS) on the shoulder or median nearest the discontinuous lane when implementing a dynamic late merge system (DLMS) to manage a work zone.(10/1/2003)

Plan adequate time to calibrate Bluetooth readers to maximize accuracy and reliability.(01/01/2014)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Focus on the integration of business processes at the institutional or programmatic level rather than at the operations level.(2011)

Consider changeable message sign (CMS) positioning, data archive requirements, and traffic demand when considering deployment of a dynamic late merge system.(28 December 2004)

Employ a proactive approach for building public awareness of the project requiring a work zone and deliver accurate information to the public. (November 2002)

Coordinate extensively with other stakeholder agencies.(1/1/2004)

Use ITS to implement a reliable communications system in work zones.(1/1/2004)

Ensure initial and ongoing success of ITS deployments by providing sufficient start-up time, maintaining flexibility, and performing maintenance needs in-house.(1/1/2004)

Verify that proposed innovations and technologies will operate as advertised.(01/01/2014)

Plan to recalibrate traffic sensors to accommodate lane shifts and other changes near work zones.(01/01/2014)

Plan adequate time to calibrate Bluetooth readers to maximize accuracy and reliability.(01/01/2014)

Ensure machine vision cameras are aligned to properly detect the onset of a queue.(01/01/2011)

Maintain ownership of the work zone ITS system and monitor vendor's work diligently to assure proper system operation.(October 2008)

Place portable changeable message signs (CMS) on the shoulder or median nearest the discontinuous lane when implementing a dynamic late merge system (DLMS) to manage a work zone.(10/1/2003)

Provide traveler information in rural areas to allow for good travel decisions in inclement weather and construction season.(November 2001)

Variable advisory speed limit (VASL) systems encourage drivers to slow down gradually as they approach rural work zones.(08/01/2013)

Ensure proper placement of variable speed limit (VSL) signs in a work zone and operate the VSL system consistently on a long term basis.(03/01/2010)

Use Bluetooth sensors to improve detection of traffic stoppages in work zones where other non-intrusive portable traffic speed sensors may only report average speeds.(2013)

Consider deploying ITS in a work zone to improve traffic safety and mobility during construction.(October 2008)

Coordinate the schedules for ITS deployment and roadway construction to maximize use and benefits of the system.(October 2008)

Use dynamic lane merge systems to improve operations in long term construction zones.(October 2004)

Consider using real time traffic control system to overcome mobility and safety obstacles in a work zone.(October 2004)

Build public awareness of large-scale construction projects and keep the public informed of work zone schedules to help minimize the associated travel impacts.(1/1/2004)

Address critical issues early in the ITS work zone management system development and deployment processes, and allow sufficient start-up time.(November 2002)

In Kalamazoo Michigan, the activation of the Dynamic Lane Merge System in a work zone reduced the number of forced merges seven fold and reduced the number of dangerous merges three fold.(October 2008)

A dynamic late lane merge system reduced vehicle emissions by 15.7 percent at a highway work zone in southern Michigan.(September 2007)

A dynamic late lane merge system decreased vehicle stops by 47 percent at a highway work zone in southern Michigan.(September 2007)

An automated work zone information system (AWIS) greatly reduced traffic demand through a highway work zone in California resulting reducing maximum average peak delay 50 percent more than expected.(22-26 January 2006)

During lane closures in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region a dynamic late merge system reduced confusion and aggressive driving, decreased queue lengths, and reduced congestion.(28 December 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed at a work zone outside Detroit reduced aggressive driving maneuvers.(October 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed in a work zone outside Detroit increased PM peak travel speeds by 15 percent, no change in AM peak speeds.(October 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed outside Detroit was found to be cost-effective based on an analysis of system cost and motorist time and fuel savings.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT enhanced work zone safety on I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system that posted traffic information and enforcement updates (number of citations issued) on dynamic message signs located upstream of the work zone.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT staff reported a high level of satisfaction with the automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of Interstate 55.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT reduced operating costs during the reconstruction of I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system and eliminating the need for constant traffic monitoring.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT indicated that an automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of I-55 improved mobility by preventing severe congestion in the work zone. (October 2004)

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, work zone surveillance and response at the "Big I" Interchange reduced average clearance time by 44 percent.(4-7 June 2001)

During the first year of operations at the "Big I" work zone in Albuquerque, temporary traffic management and motorist assistance patrols reduced the average incident response time to less than eight minutes, and no fatalities were reported.(4-7 June 2001)

A simulation model used to manage work zone mobility reduced delay; saved travelers more than $1.63 million per day during reconstruction at the I-75/I-96 interchange in Detroit.(2011)

Augmented speed enforcement system in work zone significantly reduced the number of vehicles traveling in excess of 65 mph(01/01/2013)

A photo-radar enforcement van reduced the number of speeding vehicles in a work zone by 24 percent.(April 2010)

Speed photo-radar enforcement decreased average car speeds in work zones up to 7.9 mi/hr in median lanes and 7.7 mi/hr in shoulder lanes at highway work zones, being equally as effective as the presence of police patrols with emergency lights off.(January 2010)

In Texas, police who used remote camera/radar systems to enforce work zone speed limits noted improved safety to officers, but expressed some concern over effectiveness in identifying speeding vehicles.(13-17 January 2002)

Speed display trailers can reduce average vehicle speeds by 5 mi/hr and decrease the number of vehicles traveling at excessive speeds in rural work zones. (2000)

In Nebraska, a portable speed detection and warning system placed upstream from an I-80 work zone decreased the highest 15 percent of vehicle speeds by about 5 mi/hr as vehicles approached the work zone lane merge area.(May 2000)

Speed-activated dynamic message signs with warning messages reduced vehicle speeds by 8 to 9 mi/hr; sustained effects for long-term work zones.(December 1998)

At a work zone in South Dakota, a speed monitoring and display system reduced the number of speeding passenger vehicles and trucks by as much as 25 and 40 percent respectively.(1995)

Speed activated dynamic message signs (DMS) with warning messages reduced speeding vehicles by 50 percent or more in Virginia work zones. (August 1994)

In North Carolina, a work zone equipped with smart work zone traveler information systems observed fewer crashes compared to other work zones without the technology.(May 2005)

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, work zone surveillance and response at the "Big I" Interchange reduced average clearance time by 44 percent.(4-7 June 2001)

During the first year of operations at the "Big I" work zone in Albuquerque, temporary traffic management and motorist assistance patrols reduced the average incident response time to less than eight minutes, and no fatalities were reported.(4-7 June 2001)

A work zone queue warning system at the I-70/I-57 interchange reduced queuing crashes by 14 percent and injury crashes by 11 percent.(01/01/2014)

A freeway work zone queue warning system was installed for approximately $1.545 million.(01/01/2014)

Expanding permanent DMS operations to include information on I-70 work zones has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 6.9:1.(December 2013)

In North Carolina, Portable Traffic-Monitoring Devices found to provide a cost-effective and safe means of recording speed and traffic counts in work zones.(June 11, 2010)

In Little Rock Arkansas, 82 percent of the drivers surveyed agreed that the Automated Work Zone Information System improved their ability to react to slow or stopped traffic.(October 2008)

An automated work zone information system (AWIS) greatly reduced traffic demand through a highway work zone in California resulting reducing maximum average peak delay 50 percent more than expected.(22-26 January 2006)

In North Carolina, work zone construction staff observed a dramatic reduction in queue frequency and length when using a smart work zone traveler information system.(May 2005)

In North Carolina, a work zone equipped with smart work zone traveler information systems observed fewer crashes compared to other work zones without the technology.(May 2005)

An automated work zone information system (AWIS) deployed near Los Angeles, California, reduced freeway delay by 46 percent.(9-13 January 2005)

Modeling data indicated that an automated work zone information system deployed on I-5 near Los Angeles contributed to a 4.3 percent increase in diversions and an 81 percent increase in average network speed.(9-13 January 2005)

In North Carolina, a survey of motorists who experienced a smart work zone information system on I-95 found that 85 percent of respondents changed routes at least once in response to the delay and alternate route information posted.(9-13 January 2005)

An automated work zone information system deployed near Los Angeles effectively diverted traffic to alternate routes during periods of congestion.(2005)

In Los Angeles, a survey of motorists who experienced an automated work zone information system found that 78 percent of respondents changed their route based on the information provided.(2005)

The Illinois DOT enhanced work zone safety on I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system that posted traffic information and enforcement updates (number of citations issued) on dynamic message signs located upstream of the work zone.(October 2004)

License plate recognition system successful in monitoring travel times, leading to reduced congestion in work zone.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT staff reported a high level of satisfaction with the automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of Interstate 55.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT reduced operating costs during the reconstruction of I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system and eliminating the need for constant traffic monitoring.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT indicated that an automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of I-55 improved mobility by preventing severe congestion in the work zone. (October 2004)

In North Carolina, a survey of local residents near the Smart Work Zone systems found that over 95 percent of motorists surveyed would support use of these systems in the future.(September 2004)

In North Carolina, Smart Work Zone systems increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.(September 2004)

In North Carolina, a modeling study indicated that work zone delay messages reduced maximum traffic backups by 56 percent and contributed to 55 percent reduction in traveler delay.(11-15 January 2004.)

On the Køge Bugt Motorway in Copenhagen, Denmark, travel times and alternative route information posted on dynamic message signs prompted 12 to 14 percent of drivers to divert onto less congested alternative routes.(8 April 2003)

A survey of motorists in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that 80 percent of respondents were satisfied with variable speed limits and the traveler information posted on dynamic message signs.(8 April 2003)

Ninety-seven (97) percent of the motoring public found that predicted travel time information was useful when posted at a work zone on I-75 near Dayton, Ohio. (January 2002)

A work zone management system with real-time traffic information on I-496 in Lansing, Michigan had a benefit-to-cost ratio of 2:1.(14 March 2001)

In Nebraska, a portable speed detection and warning system placed upstream from an I-80 work zone decreased the highest 15 percent of vehicle speeds by about 5 mi/hr as vehicles approached the work zone lane merge area.(May 2000)

In Greenwood, Nebraska a portable traffic management system designed to caution drivers of work zone activity and encourage use of alternative routes during periods of congestion increased traffic diversion by 4 percent.(May 2000)

In Greenwood, Nebraska a survey of travelers indicated that 29 percent of drivers who remembered DMS messages at a work zone on I-80 thought the alternate route information provided was not useful; 23 percent thought the caution messages were not useful.(May 2000)

Speed-activated dynamic message signs with warning messages reduced vehicle speeds by 8 to 9 mi/hr; sustained effects for long-term work zones.(December 1998)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, a motorist survey found 61% of drivers who experienced a portable traffic management system at a work zone felt more informed about traffic conditions than at other work zones.(May 1997)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, traffic speed data collected at two interstate work zones showed that when portable traffic management systems were deployed, work zone traffic volumes increased 4 to 7 percent during peak periods.(May 1997)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, a portable traffic management system (PTMS) installed at two interstate work zones improved safety by slowing approaching vehicles by 9 mi/hr and reducing speed variability by 70 percent. (May 1997)

In Minnesota, a survey of travelers indicated that Smart Work Zone warning signs were accurate, useful, and gave travelers the information they needed.(January 1997)

In Philadelphia, the Traffic and Incident Management System (TIMS) on I-95 contributed to a 40 percent decrease in freeway incidents and reduced the incident-severity rate by 8 percent.(January 1997)

At a work zone in South Dakota, a speed monitoring and display system reduced the number of speeding passenger vehicles and trucks by as much as 25 and 40 percent respectively.(1995)

Speed activated dynamic message signs (DMS) with warning messages reduced speeding vehicles by 50 percent or more in Virginia work zones. (August 1994)

In Smart Zone work zones, 71 percent of local resident survey respondents found variable speed limit signs useful.(January 28, 2015)

Variable advisory speed limit systems reduce variability in speeds and improve safety at congested work zones.(08/01/2013)

A variable speed limit system used to regulate traffic flow through work zones on a 7.5 mile section of I-495 saved motorists approximately 267 vehicle-hours of delay each day.(03/01/2010)

Field data collected over the last two decades show variable speed limit (VSL) systems can reduce crash potential by 8 to 30 percent. (03/01/2010)

A variable speed limit system deployed at a work zone on I-96 in Lansing, Michigan contributed to a decrease in the number of high-speed vehicles in the work zone.(September 2003)

A variable speed limit system deployed at a work zone on I-96 in Lansing, Michigan contributed to a decrease in travel times and an increase in average speeds.(September 2003)

On the Køge Bugt Motorway in Copenhagen, Denmark, variable speed limits reduced vehicle speeds by up to 5 km/h and contributed to smoother traffic flow during peak periods.(8 April 2003)

A survey of motorists in Copenhagen, Denmark, found that 80 percent of respondents were satisfied with variable speed limits and the traveler information posted on dynamic message signs.(8 April 2003)

Truck-mounted radar speed signs were effective in reducing traffic speeds by 5 to 23 percent versus reductions of 4 to 8 percent in work zones without them.(01/01/2016)

In Washington DC, an ITS work zone program implemented on I-295 decreased delay up to 90 percent with an average decrease in delay of 52 percent when drivers were advised to take alternate routes.(October 2008)

In Texas, during major incidents or high construction impact periods, the work zone traffic management system diverted an average of 10 percent of mainline traffic to alternate routes, with the highest diversion of traffic at 28 percent.(October 2008)

In Iowa, a CB radio alert system designed to warn truckers of slow moving maintenance vehicles on freeways effectively warned 39 of 59 truckers interviewed that remembered seeing the maintenance work in-progress.(May 2000)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

The cost to implement and operate a dynamic lane merge system for 11 weeks was estimated at $57,108.(September 2007)

Minnesota DOT deployed a dynamic late merge system for $900 per day per direction.(September 12, 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Tucson were estimated at $72.1 million. (May 2005)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Seattle were estimated at $132.1 million.(May 2005)

Michigan DOT leased a dynamic lane merge system for I-94 reconstruction project at a cost of $120,000.(October 2004)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

Based on a study of 17 states, the majority of work zone ITS cost between $150,000 and $500,000.(12 September 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Tucson were estimated at $72.1 million. (May 2005)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Seattle were estimated at $132.1 million.(May 2005)

A real-time work zone traffic control system leased by the Illinois Department of Transportation cost $785,000.(October 2004)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

Illinois DOT implements work zone ITS on the I-64 Add-lane Construction project at a cost of $435,000.(12 September 2005)

Based on a study of 17 states, the majority of work zone ITS cost between $150,000 and $500,000.(12 September 2005)

A real-time work zone traffic control system leased by the Illinois Department of Transportation cost $785,000.(October 2004)

In Arkansas, the contract bid costs for two different automated work zone information system ranged from $390 to $750 per day.(12-16 January 2003)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

In San Diego, the cost to furnish, install, operate, and maintain an Automated Work Zone Information System (AWIS) for 750 working days was estimated at $53,000.(09/26/2016)

Utah DOT installed 10 Bluetooth readers for $40,000 to monitor work zone traffic conditions during a nine month project. O&M was estimated at $33,000.(01/01/2014)

I-70 Corridor ITS Study identifies system costs for several technology applications.(June 2010)

Minnesota DOT deployed a dynamic late merge system for $900 per day per direction.(September 12, 2005)

Illinois DOT implements work zone ITS on the I-64 Add-lane Construction project at a cost of $435,000.(12 September 2005)

Based on a study of 17 states, the majority of work zone ITS cost between $150,000 and $500,000.(12 September 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Tucson were estimated at $72.1 million. (May 2005)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Seattle were estimated at $132.1 million.(May 2005)

A real-time work zone traffic control system leased by the Illinois Department of Transportation cost $785,000.(October 2004)

Michigan DOT leased a dynamic lane merge system for I-94 reconstruction project at a cost of $120,000.(October 2004)

North Carolina DOT leased its first smart work zone system along I-95 near Fayetteville at a cost of $235,000.(3 June 2003)

In Arkansas, the contract bid costs for two different automated work zone information system ranged from $390 to $750 per day.(12-16 January 2003)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

Ohio DOT installed eight Web cameras, at a cost of $17,000, as a temporary solution to traffic surveillance in work zones.(July 2001)

The use of ITS for a temporary construction zone management in Michigan yields a positive benefit-to-cost ratio.(14 March 2001)

The Virginia DOT implemented and operated a variable speed limit (VSL) system for two years on a 7.5 mile section of I-495 for $3.2 million (2008).(03/01/2010)

The Michigan DOT leased seven variable speed limit trailers for six months at a cost of approximately $400,900.(December 2002)