Lesson

Use ITS to implement a reliable communications system in work zones.

New Mexico’s experience in planning, deploying and operating a work zone traffic and incident management system.


1/1/2004
Albuquerque,New Mexico,United States


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

When undertaking large-scale construction projects it is necessary for agencies to use various ITS to implement a reliable communications system. The use of ITS in work zones can help alleviate concerns associated with safety, mobility and costs. By developing an effective communications system, agencies are better able to make work zone conditions run as smooth as possible, for all roadway users. There are a number of ways to apply ITS to develop reliable communication systems in work zones, including:
  • Deliver accurate information to the public for successful management of work zones. The New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department (NMSHTD) employed an ITS-based mobile traffic monitoring and management system to help move vehicles through an extensive construction area. NMSHTD used ITS in part because frequent changes in traffic patterns and scheduled closures required that travelers be provided with high-quality real-time information. Among the ITS used to distribute this information were DMS, a website, and automated fax and email updates.
  • Maintain the ability to rapidly respond to dynamic roadway conditions. This is especially useful when police, fire or emergency personnel are needed to assess incident severity in order to send the correct number of vehicles; this will result in reduced costs and will free up units to respond to other incidents.
    During the Big I interchange ITS deployment NMSHTD employed staff at the traffic management center (TMC) from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, in order to detect any incidents. The staff were able to:
    • Notify emergency personnel for dispatch.
    • Post messages on electronic roadway signs.
    • Provide traveler information to the public via the Internet and a pager network.
  • Provide the means for staff to easily make changes to communication sources, should it be required. This will save TMC staff considerable effort in informing travelers of changes in the work zone and detours.
    • The mobile traffic monitoring and management system software for the Big I interchange ITS deployment held a set of message scenarios for the electronic roadway signs. Because the core of the Big I interchange was entirely closed to traffic most nights to facilitate roadwork, a whole series of detour messages were required each night. The system enabled TMC operators to activate a pre-defined message scenario for all the DMSs with "one click." These scenarios were not set to activate automatically, although that option did exist.
    • During incidents, NMSHTD could manually activate DMS messages indicating the accident location, lanes affected and whether delays were occurring.
ITS technologies can greatly enhance communications within work zone settings, improving mobility and safety while simultaneously cutting costs. Through use of the mobile traffic monitoring and management system NMSHTD reduced work zone crashes by 32% in the first three months, compared to the previous year. With the new ITS system, incident response and clearance time was reduced from 45 minutes (historically) to 25 minutes in the work zone, and a 15% reduction in traffic was experienced from travel demand management techniques. Lastly, the new ITS system allowed NMSHTD to substantially reduce costs and improve public relations.


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Source

Intelligent Transportation Systems in Work Zones: A Case Study - Work Zone Traffic and Incident Management System - Keeping Traffic Moving During Reconstruction of the Big I, a Major Interstate-Interstate Interchange in Albuquerque

Author: FHWA (Tracy Scriba, Tim Luttrell)

Published By: FHWA

Source Date: 1/1/2004

EDL Number: 13941

Other Reference Number: FHWA-OP-04-072

URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te/13941.html

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Tracy Scriba
FHWA
202-366-0855
Tracy.Scriba@dot.gov

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
617-494-3692
jane.lappin@volpe.dot.gov


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Application Areas

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > Pre-Trip Information > Internet/Wireless

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Work Zone Management > Lane Control

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traffic Incident Management > Surveillance & Detection > Imaging/Video

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Freeway Management > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traffic Incident Management > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > Pre-Trip Information > TV/Radio

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Work Zone Management > Temporary Incident Management

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Information Dissemination > Internet/Wireless/Phone

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Freeway Management > Surveillance > Traffic

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Freeway Management > Information Dissemination > Highway Advisory Radio

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traffic Incident Management > Mobilization & Response > Service Patrols

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traffic Incident Management > Information Dissemination > Highway Advisory Radio

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > En Route Information > Radio

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > En Route Information > Wireless

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Transportation Management Centers > Temporary TMCs > Work Zones

Intelligent Transportation Systems > Transportation Management Centers > Permanent TMCs > Freeway

States

New Mexico

Countries

United States

Keywords

smart work zone systems, smart work zone, smart work zones, Smart work zones, workzone, WZ, CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, camera imaging, 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, DMS, sensors, vehicle detector, traffic detection, traffic monitoring, congestion monitoring, HAR, freeway service patrol, courtesy patrols, highway helpers, freeway service patrols

Lesson ID: 2005-00060