About the research
The lack of broadly available information on current and historical work zone activities is a key limiting factor to proactive work zone management. Historically, “passive” data has been used extensively for research and evaluation on the operational and safety impacts of work zones. The sources of such passive data include project plans and letting information, which provide only general guidance as to when and where work is being conducted. In practice, the location, duration, and type of work activity is likely to vary from these initial planning-level projections based upon site-specific issues and unanticipated sources of delay such as adverse weather. Consequently, the use of “active” work zone data is preferred, where agencies collect, disseminate, and maintain detailed work zone information in near real-time. While this type of information is often captured in daily work reports (DWRs), such data is generally not archived in a convenient format. Consequently, there is an urgent need for developing guidance and methods to collect, store, and utilize work zone activity data. This research aims to develop a framework that can be broadly utilized for the effective collection and utilization of active work zone data, allowing for more efficient performance monitoring by state departments of transportation (DOTs), in addition to facilitating more effective research as to the operational and safety impacts of work zones.
Ultimately, the goal is to identify best practices in active work zone data collection and archiving. Based upon these practices, recommendations will be provided as to a prototype application that can be broadly used by state DOTs to effectively archive work zone data.