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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > December 2001 > QuickZone 1.0: A Better Approach to Work Zone Planning
December 2001Publication Number: FHWA-RD-02-005

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QuickZone 1.0: A Better Approach to Work Zone Planning

QuickZone 1.0: A Better Approach to Work Zone Planning How will the construction or rehabilitation project that you're planning affect motorists? What will be the costs of traveler delay caused by your project? What might be the effect of contractor-suggested changes in the approved Traffic Control Plan? QuickZone 1.0., a new software program available from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), can help answer those questions and more.

QuickZone compares the traffic impacts for work zone mitigation strategies and estimates the costs, traffic delays, and potential backups associated with these impacts. For example, if a highway agency planned to widen a shoulder, QuickZone could estimate the costs of doing work at night instead of during the day or diverting the traffic to one road versus another road during different phases of construction. The costs, traffic delays, and potential backups can be estimated for both an average day of work and for the whole life cycle of construction.

"QuickZone can help State and local traffic, construction, operations, and planning staff, as well as construction contractors, better perform their job by making them aware of the effect that different work zone phasing has on the motorist from both a cost and delay standpoint. This benefits everyone from highway officials to construction workers to motorists and improves overall work zone safety," says Deborah Curtis of FHWA's Mobility and Safety Integrated Product Team. The software provides information in a spreadsheet form. A user need only have Microsoft Excel 97 or higher running on a Windows-based PC to use the application. To run the program, the user would enter data on the planned work zone, such as:

  • Location
  • Any projected detour routes
  • Anticipated volumes of traffic
  • Construction dates and times

The program then displays the amount of delay in vehicle hours, the maximum length of the projected traffic queue, and the costs associated with the work activity.

QuickZone can also analyze the advantages of various strategies for minimizing the projected traffic delays. These mitigation strategies might include retiming signals on detour routes to help traffic flow more smoothly, planning a media campaign to publicize the planned work zones, or using traveler information systems that allow drivers to plan ahead and choose other routes if possible.

For more information about QuickZone, contact Deborah Curtis at FHWA, 202-493-3267 (email: deborah.curtis@fhwa.dot.gov).

To obtain a copy of the software, contact the McTrans Center at the University of Florida, 352-392-0378 (fax: 352-392-6629; email: mctrans@ce.ufl.edu; Web: mctrans.ce.ufl.edu).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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