North/West Passage
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Project 11.3
Work Zone Management Practices for I-90/I-94

From 2010-2014, there were 42 fatal crashes in work zones on Interstate routes within the North/West passage states. Work zone management practices continue to evolve, particularly those involving the use of technology to manage traffic queues, merging and traveler information. Recognizing that effective work zone management improves both safety and mobility for travelers, the North/West Passage members initiated this project to better understand work zone management practices, as well as intelligent work zone (IWZ) experiences, along the I-90/I-94 corridor.

IWZ applications are defined by the Federal Highway Administration as "...strategies for managing work zones and work zone traffic that can minimize travel delays and help maintain motorist and worker safety…using technology applications to dynamically manage traffic in the work zone environment." IWZ strategies are distinct from other, traditional technology applications in that they are dynamic and require the collection and use of real-time data. For example, a portable message sign displaying only "ROAD WORK AHEAD" does not constitute an IWZ, but a message displaying the distance to a stopped queue or real-time travel times on that same sign are two IWZ strategies.

The context and needs of a planned work zone are important in that there may be more than one approach to address an expected need and an IWZ strategy may not be the best solution to mitigate the issue. IWZ strategies can vary significantly in scale and approach, and need not be overly complex. IWZ strategies should be intentionally applied as warranted by the issues expected in a work zone. Thus, in addition to IWZ strategies and experiences, this project also presents current work zone management practices in the North/West Passage states.

The final summary report presents the findings based on interviews conducted in January/February 2017 with the North/West Passage states and a review to identify IWZ practices in other states. In addition, a webinar was held on April 26, 2017 to summarize the interviews as well as highlight IWZ experiences in Minnesota and Iowa.

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Site Updated: Jan. 5, 2024
North/West Passage