Highway work zone capacity estimation using field data from Kansas

by Logan A. Ortiz

Institution: Kansas State University
Department: Department of Civil Engineering
Degree: MS
Year: 2014
Keywords: Rural highway work zone; Civil Engineering (0543)
Record ID: 2045432
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2097/18224


Although extensive research has been conducted on urban freeway capacity estimation methods, minimal research has been carried out for rural highway sections, especially sections within work zones. This study filled that void for rural highways in Kansas. This study estimated capacity of rural highway work zones in Kansas. Six work zone locations were selected. An average of six days??? worth of field data was collected, from mid-October 2013 to late November 2013, at each of these work zone sites. Two capacity estimation methods were utilized, including the Maximum Observed 15-minute Flow Rate Method and the Platooning Method divided into 15-minute intervals. The Maximum Observed 15-minute Flow Rate Method provided an average capacity of 1469 passenger cars per hour per lane (pcphpl) with a standard deviation of 141 pcphpl, while the Platooning Method provided a maximum average capacity of 1195 pcphpl and a standard deviation of 28 pcphpl. Based on observed data and analysis carried out in this study, the recommended capacity to be used is 1500 pcphpl when designing work zones for rural highways in Kansas. This research provides the proposed standard value of rural highway work zone capacities so engineers and city planners can effectively mitigate congestion that would have otherwise occurred due to impeding construction/maintenance.