Use dynamic lane merge systems to improve operations in long term construction zones.
Michigan Department of Transportation's experience with a dynamic lane merge system (DLM)
- Utilize a DLM system to help increase safety and reduce delay near work zones where lane closures are necessary.
- Ensure that DLM trailer locations are wide enough to allow trailers to be moved in and out, and allow for safe placement off the roadway. This is also important for enforcement activities.
- Consider frequency of changes to the work zone geometry and location before implementing a DLM system. It is better to use the DLM system at construction sites where the work zone geometry and location do not change frequently because such changes often require recalibrating the detectors. Long-term, large projects may have phases that are static, where the system can remain in place for a longer time.
- Ensure that the system has line of sight between sensors for adequate communication. MDOT raised antennas on the trailers due to line of sight issues.
- Ensure adequate access to sensor stations for maintenance purposes.
- Identify stakeholders early in the planning stage and use a proactive approach to building public awareness of an ITS deployment. Successful techniques include meeting with stakeholders, holding press conferences, issuing news releases, and keeping local media up to date. MDOT used all of the above-mentioned techniques, and also met frequently with law enforcement early on to avoid miscommunication on overall system objectives and to keep them involved in the system planning and design.
- Allow the driving community time to adapt to the DLM system. This will ensure that they will know how to comply with the regulatory signs in the DLM-controlled area. In addition, when changes in work zone roadway geometry are made, it is important to allow time for drivers to learn the new setup.
- Ensure that the system has an adequate maintenance plan to avoid large amounts of system downtime.The implementing agency can meet maintenance needs solely through use of the vendor, or the agency can maintain the system with initial help from the vendor. Sensor power issues caused some small delays early on for MDOT.
- Be aware that sensor stations may need to be reset manually when there are power interruptions.
Author: Scriba, Tracy, and Tim Luttrell
Correspondence with Jeff Grossklaus, Michigan DOT (November 2006 and January 2007)
Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT
Prepared by SAIC for the U.S. DOT
Source Date: October 2004
EDL Number: 14011URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te/14011.htm
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Lesson of the Month for July, 2009 !