U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Highway engineering organizations and the motoring public are requiring timely, accurate, and readily accessible information on the extent of congestion in the vicinity of construction work zones. To that extent, Caltrans and FHWA are partnering on a new initiative that incorporates the latest ITS technology in work zones called Automated Work Zone Information System (AWIS).
The general premise of the system is: (1) gathering traffic data from multiple locations on all approaches; (2) analyzing the data in real-time to determine current traffic conditions, compute speed differentials, and predict delay; and (3) providing motorists with accurate, time-stamped, information which include speed differentials, delay, and alternate route advisories.
By reducing speed differentials, construction worker and motorist safety will be improved. Smoothing and controlling traffic on the primary and alternate routes will also reduce congestion. Rear-end crashes are expected to be reduced as well as road rage from drivers who don't know what to expect.
Variations of AWIS have been deployed around the county and have shown promising results. Caltrans and FHWA hope the same can be incorporated as part of work zones in California to help improved mobility and safety.