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
Fayetteville,North Carolina,United States

Summary Information

This report identified several work zone projects where real-time traffic monitoring and traveler information systems were used to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Highlighted results are shown below:

Real-time traffic and alternate route information at work zones.

In May 2002, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) deployed a smart work zone information system to alleviate congestion on I-95 just north of Fayetteville. The system was designed to estimate work zone delay using traffic sensor data and automatically post alternate route information on portable roadside dynamic message signs (DMS) during periods of heavy congestion.

Visual observations performed by construction staff indicated that before the smart work zone system was deployed, traffic queues sometimes exceeded 5 miles. After the system began operating, however, traffic queues decreased in both frequency and in length to generally two miles or less.

Incident management at work zones.

The New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department (NMSHTD) deployed a construction traffic management center (CTMC) at the Big I work zone in Albuquerque to monitor traffic conditions, assess incidents, and dispatch police, wreckers, and on-site courtesy patrols. Motorists approaching the interchange of I-25 and I-40 were made aware of traffic conditions (lanes affected) via information displayed on dynamic message signs (DMS) and strategically deployed portable changeable message signs (CMS). Pre-trip traffic information was also available on the "BIG I" internet web-site.

After approximately one year of operations, the average clearance time on the "BIG I" was 20 minutes faster than the historical average clearance time of 45 minutes.

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Knowing Ahead of Time

Author: Scriba, T.

Correspondence with Mr. Steve Kite North Carolina DOT, 13 February 2007.

Published By: Transportation Management & Engineering

Source Date: May 2005


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Goal Areas



Dynamic Message Signs, CMS, VMS, Changeable Message Signs, Variable Message Signs, construction warning signs, Portable Dynamic Message Signs, portable CMS, portable VMS, portable Changeable Message Signs, portable Variable Message Signs, Temporary Dynamic Message Signs, Temporary CMS, Temporary VMS, Temporary Changeable Message Signs, Temporary Variable Message Signs, smart work zone systems, smart work zone, smart work zones, Smart work zones, workzone, WZ

Benefit ID: 2007-00327