The objective of this study was to document the effectiveness of the application of advanced technologies for the real-time control and management of traffic in the work zone at the I 75 Clays Ferry Bridge reconstruction project. A description is given for each of the condition-responsive traffic control devices used on the project. A summary of the usage of each system is given along with a rating of its performance and effectiveness. The evaluation includes an analysis of accident data in the vicinity of the Clays Ferry Bridge for the period of January 1990 through June 1997. The possibility of future use of the various technologies was discussed.
Use of a video camera system was found to be an effective method to monitor activities at the construction site. Several improvements to the standard method of using a variable message sign were found to make them more effective and responsive to existing conditions. Included were the following: 1) placing a message on the sign only when warranted by a specific incident, 2) controlling the signs remotely and typically using pre-programmed messages, and 3) using multiple signs with the first sign placed several miles prior to the work activity. Motorists use of highway advisory radio (HAR) was very limited, and the AM stations generally had a poor reception quality. The future use of HAR at construction sites was determined to have limited applications unless improvements could be made in reception and usage. It was determined that inadequate maintenance of the HAR systems may have contributed to the reduced quality of the signal and resulting usage. Use of a video-based vehicle detection system to provide alarms was not successful although its failure may be related to the type of equipment used. While the use of a weather detection system has the ability to provide specific weather and pavement data, it was a problem to properly operate and maintain at an active work site.
There was an increase in the annual total number of traffic accidents during construction compared to before construction but the annual number of injury and fatal accidents did not change. A substantial part of the increase in total accidents was the result of the large increase in rear end collisions.
Digital Object Identifier
Pigman, Jerry G.; Agent, Kenneth R.; and Weber, Joel, "Evaluation of Condition-Responsive Work Zone Traffic Controls at the I-75 Clays Ferry Bridge" (1998). Kentucky Transportation Center Research Report. 358.