It is typical for traveler information dissemination systems (e.g. Traveler Information websites, Smartphone applications) to display information about construction work zones, such as type of construction, lane closures (length and/or duration of closure), and detours. However, there are often challenges relaying the information about the impacts of roadwork to the staff responsible for preparing the travel information content for websites and 511 phones systems. As a result, often the road work descriptions on websites and phone systems are generic (e.g. “expect intermittent lane closures from June 15 to August 30”).
Arrow boards are routinely used in advance of active work zones to designate lane closures in the field, and display the most current information to approaching motorists. Although no off-the-shelf system currently automatically integrates arrow board statuses into traveler information mechanisms for display to motorists, available technology could report the location and operation of Arrow Boards to TMC staff for improved traveler information dissemination and performance reporting, without requiring significant time of agency staff in the field or at the TMC.
The overall intent of this project was for multiple states to collaborate together to follow a systems engineering process to develop an ITS solution that integrates active work zone notifications regarding lane closures from Arrow Boards into agency traveler information dissemination systems. During this process, the project team identified a focus on integrating real-time information from Arrow Boards in the field; therefore, the Model Concept of Operations and Model Requirements documents have been titled to reflect this focus: Real-Time Integration of Arrow Board Messages into Traveler Information Systems.
This project (Phase 1) developed ‘model’ systems engineering documents (Concept of Operations and Requirements) that ENTERPRISE agencies could use when implementing solutions to integrate active work zone notifications into current traveler information dissemination systems.
The next effort (Phase 2) of the project, generated an Evaluation Plan for examining the process, effectiveness, lessons learned, and benefits of Arrow Board Reporting Systems once they are deployed. The Evaluation Plan is expected to guide future evaluations of one or more pilot deployments conducted by ENTERPRISE agencies.