The Operations and Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Team has initiated the beta-testing of QuickZone, their new work zone delay estimation software, developed in cooperation with Mitretek Systems. The target release date for this product is March 2001. Your help is sought in assessing this software in terms of ease-of-use, user interface, presentation of outputs, visual display of data, and overall functionality.
In all but a few high-visibility freeway construction and refurbishment projects, the "soft cost" of traveler delay is typically not considered when key decisions about project staging and duration are made. The 1998 FHWA report Meeting the Customer's Needs for Mobility and Safety During Construction and Maintenance Operations (in PDF format; see instructions below* if you do not have Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader) identifies this issue and recommends the development of an analytical tool to estimate and quantify work zone delays. This scope of work lays out a plan for the development of an easy-to-master analytic tool (currently under the working title "QuickZone") for quick and flexible estimation of work zone delay in all four phases of the project development process (policy, planning, design and operations).
The QuickZone concept is to provide an easy-to-use, easy-to-learn tool that utilizes software tools that are familiar to the target user base. Our current approach is to develop QuickZone as Microsoft Excel Workbook application. The prospective QuickZone analyst need only have Excel97 or higher running on a Windows-based PC with minimal memory and processing speed requirements. Our overall goal in terms of ease-of-use is less than one hour to input and check a QuickZone network, and less than three minutes to analyze the data and produce delay profiles over the project duration.
The primary functions of QuickZone are:
Quantification of corridor delay resulting from capacity decreases in work zones.
Identification of delay impacts of alternative project phasing plans.
Supporting tradeoff analyses between construction costs and delay costs.
Examination of impacts of construction staging, by:
- location along mainline
- time-of-day (peak vs. off-peak)
- season (summer vs. winter)
Assessment of travel demand measures and other delay mitigation strategies.
Allowing the establishment of work completion incentives.
Check out a prototype Project Delay Summary generated by the QuickZone software.
The target users of QuickZone are State and local traffic construction, operations, and planning staff, and construction contractors. The tool is suitable for application in both urban and inter-urban settings.
Note: This is a self-extracting executable file. Click on the link and save the file to your computer. Then locate the file on your computer and double click - the file will be extracted and the files will be ready for viewing. The file - readme.pdf included in the executable - explains the components of the software package. If you need the Windows® version of WinZip®, you may download it from http://www.winzip.com/downau8n.cgi?winzip81.exe.
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Other Operations Links
» FHWA's Office of Operations » Research and Innovative Technology Administration's Intelligent Transportation Systems Connected Vehicle Research