Identify Potential Causes of Truck Bottlenecks on Freeways and Develop Mitigation Strategies

Principal Investigator(s):

Chen-Fu Liao, Researcher, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Freight transportation provides a significant contribution to our nation's economy. Reliable and accessible freight network enables business in the Twin Cities to be more competitive in the Upper Midwest region. Accurate and reliable freight data on freight activity is essential for freight planning, forecasting, and decision making on infrastructure investment. Building on our previous research to measure freight mobility and reliability along key freight corridors in the Twin Cities metro area, this project leveraged our previous development for assessing truck congestions and travel time reliability to identify and investigate potential causes of truck bottlenecks and develop mitigation strategies on major truck highway corridors in the eight-county metro area. In addition, researchers also included key freight corridors that connect to the regional freight centers in the St. Cloud, Mankato, and Rochester areas. The research team investigated potential causes of truck bottlenecks for recurring and non-recurring congestion conditions by merging truck volume and congestion information on a GIS framework for spatial analysis. Researchers also developed a systematic reporting tool to rank truck bottlenecks on truck highway corridors. This tool will allow agencies to monitor the truck bottlenecks and evaluate the impact of deployed mitigation strategies on a regular basis.

The objectives of this project were to (1) identify truck bottlenecks and assess congestion impact, (2) examine and analyze trucking activity nearby congested areas and investigate possible causes of recurring congestions, (3) develop and recommend potential mitigation solutions for improving system performance for all users, and (4) develop a systematic reporting tool to rank truck bottlenecks and use the tool to evaluate the impact of deployed mitigation strategies.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2018081
  • Start date: 10/2017
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow