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.

Michigan DOT experience with road closure management

I-75/I-96 Interchange,Detroit,Michigan,United States

Summary Information

Michigan DOT (MDOT) transportation planners used simulation modeling to develop and implement work zone mobility mitigation plans for I-75 during the Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project in Detroit. As one of the busiest commercial bridges in the world, access to the bridge had to be maintained throughout the project which was expected to last for 18 months (winter of 2008 to the fall 2009).

As part of the project, the I-75/I-96 interchange located near the bridge had to be closed for a period of 90 days. Using a large network microsimulation model (SEMSIM) planners examined a variety of alternatives for road closure strategies and were able to agree on a plan to reduce impacts on travelers. Researchers found that the model did a good job of estimating actual traffic conditions. Benefits were calculated for different strategies based on monetary values assigned to delay savings for motorists and commercial vehicles.


The simulation model enabled engineers to estimate the impacts of changing traffic patterns, coordinate work zone activities, and implement efficient work zone management plans. Improved traffic management saved freeway users approximately $1.63 million per day during morning and afternoon peak periods. The authors noted that the calculated benefits were relatively conservative considering the assigned value for delay was set at $16 per hour.


See also: Michigan DOT Guidance Document: Work Zone Safety and Mobility Policy Guidance (September 2007)

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Integrating Business Processes to Improve Travel Time Reliability

Author: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in association with PB Consult

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 2011

Other Reference Number: Report No. S2-L01-RR-1



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Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


smart work zone systems, smart work zone, smart work zones, Smart work zones, workzone, WZ

Benefit ID: 2013-00862