Feasibility of shoulder use for highway work zone optimization

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26 Scopus citations


Highway maintenance, often requiring lane closure, is very expensive in terms of the costs associated with transportation agencies (i. e. work zone setups) and road users (i. e. delay). Longer work zones tend to increase the user delay but will be efficient because of fewer repeated setups. To increase road capacity and mitigate congestion impact for a short-term work zone, temporary shoulder use may be applied. This study develops an analytical model to optimize work zone length on a multi-lane highway considering time-varying traffic volume and road capacity affected by light condition, heavy vehicle percentage, and lane width. The results can be used to evaluate the work zone impact (i. e. delay and cost) and assist engineers/planners to prepare and develop a cost-effective highway maintenance plan. A case study for a highway work zone in New Jersey has been conducted, in which the optimized solution is found. A guideline of using road shoulder under various circumstances is developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering (English Edition)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


  • cost
  • delay
  • highway
  • lane closure
  • optimization
  • shoulder use
  • work zone


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