TH-36 Full Closure Construction: Evaluation of Traffic Operations Alternatives


John Hourdos, Feili Hong

January 2010

Report no. Mn/DOT 2010-04

According to the 2007 Urban Mobility Report, $78 billion was lost due to congestion on urban roadways. Many urban corridors around the country experience demand that is close to or greater than the available capacity. Although most agree that the transportation system has matured and that we will not build ourselves out of congestion, existing infrastructure still often requires expansion. Such expansion in an already developed system most likely does not involve new roadway construction but results in existing roadway upgrades. Such roadways normally already serve considerable demand, a fact that increases the importance of the impact to the roadway users, estimated as Road User Costs (RUCs), and raises safety concerns both for the driving public as well as for the people working on reconstruction projects. New construction methods like Full Road Closure claim to reduce RUCs as well as reduce capital costs. This project follows the first large-scale Full Closure in Minnesota in an attempt to learn from the experience and propose the most appropriate tools and methodologies for planning, staging, and executing the construction. For the latter, three traffic analysis tools are selected for estimating RUCs due to the construction project. Their effort and data requirements, as well as their accuracy is evaluated and compared to the empirical, engineering-judgment-based, method used by Mn/DOT.

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