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Title:Optimizing the construction planning of highway work zones
Author(s):Abdelmohsen, Ahmed Zafer
Director of Research:El-Rayes, Khaled
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):El-Rayes, Khaled
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Liu, Liang Y.; Ouyang, Yanfeng; El-Gohary, Nora; Golparvar-Fard, Mani
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Work Zone
Abstract:Highway work zones often cause traffic congestions and delays resulting in increased road user delay, traffic crashes, and vehicle emissions. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and state DOTs are continuously seeking to improve work zone safety and mobility. To accomplish this, the layout of highway work zones needs to be carefully planned and optimized to accomplish the multiple and often conflicting objectives of maximizing safety and mobility while minimizing cost. This can be achieved by identifying an optimal solution for work zone layout decisions such as the length of work zone segments, work zone speed limit, nighttime work hours, temporary utilization of shoulder for traffic, and the use of flaggers, spotters, and/or other temporary traffic control (TTC) measures. The main goal of this research study is to develop multi-objective models for optimizing the planning of highway work zones that are capable of striking an optimal balance among the critical and often conflicting objectives of maximizing work zone safety, maximizing traffic mobility, and minimizing construction cost. To accomplish this goal, the research objectives of this study are to (1) perform field studies to evaluate the effectiveness of current TTC practices and work zone layout parameters in improving safety and mobility; (2) collect and analyze the latest available data on work zone crashes to study the frequency and severity of traffic-related work zone crashes, and investigate the probable causes and contributing factors of these crashes; (3) conduct surveys of DOT resident engineers and highway contractors to gather their feedback on the effectiveness and benefits of TTC measures and other layout parameters such as flaggers, spotters, and other TTC devices; (4) develop a novel multi-objective optimization model for highway work zone layouts that is capable of generating optimal tradeoffs between minimizing traffic delays and minimizing construction cost; and (5) create an innovative multi-objective optimization model to search for and identify a set of Pareto optimal work zone layouts that provide a wide range of optimal tradeoffs between minimizing traffic delays and minimizing probability of crashes. The performance of the developed optimization models was analyzed and verified using case studies of work zone layouts. The results of analyzing these case studies illustrated the novel and unique capabilities of the developed models in searching for and identifying optimal work zone layouts. These new and unique capabilities are expected to support state DOTs and construction planners in their ongoing efforts to (i) maximize work zone safety, (ii) reduce traffic delays in the work zone area, and (iii) minimize work zone construction cost.
Issue Date:2016-07-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ahmed Zafer Abdelmohsen
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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