Freeway work zone: Current trends and future needs
Paper in proceedings, 2019
Work zones are recognized as a significant source of freeway incidents as they involve frequent lane closures and lane merges that last for different periods of time. Work zones generate road user delays, traffic incidents, safety hazards, and vehicle emissions. This article presents a comprehensive literature review of the mobility, safety, driver behaviour, and cost and planning aspects of state of the art work zones. Over 100 publications, including research papers, master thesis, and dissertations were reviewed in order to understand the spread of work zone applications. Mobility and safety have become important measures that are used to optimize the performance of work zones by minimizing delay and traffic collisions. Work zone configuration plays a major role in all aspects of work zones while capacity reduction and speed limits are critical issues for mobility. The review revealed that safety is mostly modeled and predicted using collision data as the main factor. The impact of nighttime safety attracted less research attention. Cutting-edge smart work zone concepts have emerged as a key component in most of the phases of work zone studies. Driver behaviour is explored as one of the main considerations that affects the entire work zone aspects. In this article, the important elements of each publication are tabulated to give the reader quick access to the relevant references. Apart from the existing approaches, the design variables, limitations, and future research needs are listed separately for prospective users. It is our hope that this paper will serve as a quick freeway work zone reference and a guide for potential researchers and practitioners.