Table of Contents
ISRN Civil Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 507269, 18 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/507269
Research Article

Comparing Three Lane Merging Schemes for Short-Term Work Zones: A Simulation Study

1CATSS, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2CATSS, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
3Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Received 23 August 2011; Accepted 27 September 2011

Academic Editors: J. D. Nelson and I. G. Raftoyiannis

Copyright © 2012 Rami Harb et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Traffic safety and mobility of roadway work zones have been considered to be one of the major concerns in highway traffic safety and operations in Florida. Dynamic lane merging (DLM) systems—ITS-based lane management technology—were introduced by several states in an attempt to enhance both safety and mobility of roadway work zones. Two forms of lane merging, namely, the early merge and the late merge were designed to advise drivers on definite merging locations. Up to date, there are no studies that contrast both merging schemes under matching work zone settings. This study simulates a two-to-one work zone lane closure configuration under three different Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plans in VISSIM. The first MOT is the conventional plans used in Florida’s work zones, the second MOT is a simplified dynamic early merging system (early SDLMS), and the third MOT is a simplified dynamic late merging systems (late SDLMSs). Field data was collected to calibrate and validate the simulation models. Simulation results indicated that overall, under different levels of drivers’ compliance rate and different percentages of trucks in the traffic composition, the early SLDMS outperformed the conventional MOT and the late SDLMS in terms of travel times and throughputs.