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Quality control reports. Problem/maintenance response log


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Title: Quality control reports. Problem/maintenance response log

Planting Seed Money for Work Zone ITS Applications
  • Mainstreaming IWZ Systems in MN

Marvin L. Sohlo P.E., Work Zone Standards
Engineer Minnesota Department of Transportation
Presented at ATSSA National Conference Expo
February 11, 2008
Presentation Topics
  • Education
  • Quality Control
  • Funding Issues

What is a Work Zone ITS System?
  • Identity Crisis
  • Smart Systems,
  • ITS in Work Zones,
  • Smart Construction Devices etc.
  • Minnesota Intelligent Work Zones
  • IWZ Systems

What is a Work Zone ITS System?
  • Definition A system of devices that
    provides motorists, and/or workers, real-time
    information for improved mobility and
    safety through a work zone.

Real Time
  • Current information for making immediate
    decisions traffic/environmental
  • Static vs. Dynamic Systems

Static Systems
  • Utilizes the motorists driving knowledge
  • Typical system of traffic control devices
  • Conventional or Electronic
  • 24/7 with no change

Dynamic Systems
  • Dynamic systems only supplement existing Static
  • Automatically identifies less obvious or
    confusing conditions or hazards
  • Provides information immediately
  • Appropriate message given

What is a Work Zone ITS System?
  • Does IWZ only include new technology?
  • What once was new is now commonplace
  • Traffic Signals (fixed time vs. traffic actuated)
  • Flashing Arrow Panels
  • Portable Changeable Message Signs
  • They are now components in IWZ Systems

IWZ System Components
  • Detection (radar, sonic, optical, etc.)
  • Monitoring (quality, redundancies, etc.)
  • Communications (cell, wired, radio, etc.)
  • Analysis (algorithms, logic, procedures, etc.)
  • Management (databases, backup, etc.)
  • Information Delivery (dynamic traffic control
    devices such as CMS, broadcasting via radio or
    internet, and special warnings such as alarms
    or lights)

What is Possible?
  • Mix and Match
  • Detection Components
  • Analysis Methods
  • Information Delivery
  • Each combination leads to a new system
  • Scenarios are endless

What is Possible?
  • Identify the Key Issues to be addressed
  • The underlining cause of an issue
  • The action required to mitigate cause
  • The best practice to generate action
  • Implement a Solution

What is Possible?
  • Different issues surface for each project
  • Congestion / Volumes / Vehicle Types
  • Travel Time / Delay / Alternate Routes
  • Duration / Short or Long Term / Incidents
  • Geometry / Temporary Alignments
  • Traffic Movements / Turns / Merges
  • Hazards / Weather / Obstructions / Clearances

What is Possible?
  • Each issue requires a different level of
    information delivery importance
  • Three Categories of IWZ Systems
  • Conflict Warning
  • Motorist or worker action required
  • Traffic Control
  • Commands / Instructions
  • Traveler Information
  • Background Information

What is Possible?
  • Projects issue/problem solvers need to
    understand the possibilities available
  • Field
  • Office
  • Minnesota IWZ Toolbox

Minnesota IWZ Toolbox
  • Uniformity of terminology
  • Listing of basic IWZ systems
  • System informational sheet
  • Typical Layout with Design Considerations
  • Warrants and Benefits
  • Options and Precautions
  • New Information will be added continuously

  • Dynamic vs. Changeable vs. Variable ?
  • Speed Advisory vs. Advisory Speed Limit
    vs. Work Zone Speed Limit?

Dynamic Changeable
Speed Advisory Speed Limit
Listing of IWZ Systems
  • The systems that have been used successfully
    within Minnesota,
  • Other basic systems used outside Minnesota that
    fall within the policies and standards for
    Minnesota TTC, or
  • Basic systems that think outside the box
  • Not field tested, but sound engineering concept
  • Field tested, but not studied or documented

System Information
  • Minnesota IWZ Toolbox will collect basic system
  • Warrants
  • Benefits
  • System Design Guidance
  • Precautions
  • Alternate Solutions
  • Best Practices
  • Brainstorming Resource

  • Each system works best within Ideal traffic
    parameters / conditions
  • Systems deployed when conditions fall outside
    Ideal may not perform as anticipated
  • No improvement in safety or mobility
  • An economic waste
  • Ideal can be defined with Warrants

  • Properly deployed systems should display benefits
    to the motorists and/or workers
  • Reduced incidents or severity
  • Reduced delay times
  • Reduced driver frustration
  • Economic benefits
  • Contractors / Construction Costs
  • Motorists
  • Most benefits are difficult to quantify

System Design Guidance
  • Generic Best Practices (best guess)
  • Typical system layout (device placement)
  • Typical warning messages
  • Typical sign designs
  • Typical multi-system combinations

System Design Guidance
  • Alternate Solutions
  • Device alternatives
  • Static system layout
  • Precautions
  • All TTC plans shall meet MN MUTCD standards
    without the addition of the IWZ System.
  • All devices shall meet MN MUTCD and Qualified
    Products List standards and qualifications.

Brainstorming Resource
  • Designers may add IWZ into the project to
    mitigate anticipated mobility and safety issues
  • Project Engineers may solve mobility and safety
    issues during construction
  • Contractors may increase their economical and
    safe working conditions

Conflict Warning Systems
  • Trucks Entering
  • Trucks Exiting/ Crossing
  • Excessive Speed
  • Prepare to Stop
  • Work Space Intrusion
  • Over Dimension
  • Hazardous Roadway

Trucks Entering Warning
  • Warrants
  • Merging trucks must accelerate in traffic lane.
  • Merge location is obscured to motorists.
  • Small gaps in traffic.
  • Benefits
  • Driver awareness
  • Fewer conflicts
  • Safer operations
  • Efficiency

Excessive Speed Warning
  • Warrants
  • Hazard requires reduced speed to safely
  • Hazard is unexpected.
  • Benefits
  • Provides warning and time/distance to slow.

Traffic Control Systems
  • Dynamic / Static Late Merge
  • Changeable Speed Limit
  • Dynamic Speed Display (Your Speed)
  • Dynamic Speed Advisory
  • Temporary Ramp Metering

Dynamic Speed Advisory
  • TRB DOI 10.3141/2015-02
  • Warrants
  • Congestion Slowdowns
  • Volumes not determined
  • Benefits
  • Improved thru-put by 7
  • Smoothed-out shockwave
  • Speed differential reduction 25-35
  • Reduced panic stops

Dynamic Late Merge
  • Warrants
  • 1500 vehicles/hour
  • Benefits
  • Reduces queue 40
  • Removes lane speed differentials
  • Reduces confusion

Static Late Merge
  • Signs or PCMS messages on time-clock schedule
  • Warrants
  • Predictable sustained volumes over 1500 v/h
  • Benefits
  • Same as DLMS

Traveler Information Systems
  • Travel Time Information
  • Travel Delay Information
  • Congestion Advisory Information
  • Route Management Information

Travel Time System
  • Warrants
  • Distance to destination 10 miles or less
  • No traffic signals
  • Benefits
  • Informed decisions
  • Reduced tempers

Travel Delay System
  • Warrants
  • Easily identifiable location causing traffic
  • Display should be placed prior to the location
  • Benefits
  • Informed decisions
  • Reduced tempers
  • Only a prediction of the added travel time
    (delay) is needed
  • Signals factored in


Quality Control on IWZ Systems
Quality Control
  • The Provider
  • The Project
  • The Penalties

Qualified Products List (QPL)
  • All products found on a QPL have met applicable
    product requirements
  • Various lists include
  • Construction / Maintenance Materials
  • Bridge / Environmental Materials
  • Uniform Traffic Control Devices
  • Signals, Lighting, Signs, Pavement Markings
  • TTC Devices and IWZ System Providers

IWZ System Provider QPL
  • Separate lists for each category
  • Conflict Warning
  • Traffic Control, and
  • Traveler Information
  • Two levels of qualification
  • Provisional Approved and Fully Qualified

QPL Qualification Process
  • Application with references
  • Previous types of systems deployed
  • Expertise of staff
  • Testimonials and Interviews
  • Must agree to the Qualification Process
  • Review materials and references as they apply to
    each of the 3 categories
  • Provisional Approval if qualified

Provisional Approval on QPL
  • Listed on QPL as provisionally approved for
    each qualified category.
  • Allowed to bid on projects with IWZ needs.
  • IWZ Provider competes with any other Approved
    IWZ Providers on the QPL.
  • Upon successful bidding the IWZ Provider is
    awarded the IWZ project.
  • Generally, IWZ Provider is a subcontractor

Field Testing and Reviews
  • Three stages of reports are required
  • Preliminary
  • Periodic Interim
  • Final Summary
  • Performance Reviews
  • Continuous quality reviews

Approval Process
  • Successful completion of the IWZ project.
  • Full IWZ System Provider approval status on the

Project Expectations are Defined
  • Projects with IWZ systems have
  • Temporary Traffic Control Plans
  • IWZ System typical layouts
  • IWZ System pay item
  • Special Provisions for IWZ Pay Item
  • Who, What, Where, Why and How Good

Special Provisions
  • Who require contact info
  • Deployment Calibration
  • Maintenance
  • Emergencies - Outages
  • What general system description
  • Types of systems to be installed
  • Equipment to be placed on project
  • Where general project location

Special Provisions
  • Why description of the GOALS of the IWZ System
  • How how good rather than how
  • Minnesota specifies the IWZ systems tolerances,
    public information format, and data reporting
  • Performance Specs vs. Method Specs

Special Provisions
  • Tolerances on Information Displayed
  • /- 1 minute during Non-Peak Traffic
  • /- 3 minutes during Peak Hour Traffic
  • etc.
  • Threshold / Event Triggers
  • Speeds measured below 20 mph Congested
  • Speeds measured over 50 mph Free Flow
  • Water level measured 1 deep on road
  • etc.

Special Provisions
  • Messages to be displayed
  • Various levels of messages
  • Cautionary vs. Warning
  • Allowable optional display methods
  • Electronic (PCMS) vs. static signs with
    changeable LED bricks, or static signs with
    flashing warning lights, etc.
  • Location of message displays
  • Generally shown in the TTC plan
  • Time of message display operation
  • 24/7 vs. during PM rush hours, etc.

Special Provisions
  • Data reporting requirements including
  • Event logs
  • Quality control reports
  • Problem/maintenance response logs
  • Details dependent upon system and needs
  • Specific data protocols to transfer data for
    other uses, such as
  • Mn/DOTs internal algorithms
  • Posting on Mn/DOTs website, etc.

Not in the Special Provisions
  • IWZ System provider determines
  • Number of sensors/detectors needed
  • Type of system communications needed
  • Algorithms needed to analyze the data
  • Provider has latitude to utilize system
    components that are Cost Efficient
  • Accurate, Reliable, Proven, Bullet-proof, etc.

Performance vs. Method Specs.
  • WHY? --- we want the end result!
  • Technology is constantly changing
  • Little or No interest in component details
  • IWZ Provider needs to know
  • Limitations of various models/types
  • distances, power, obstacles, interferences, etc.
  • Accuracy of various models/types
  • ranges, repeatability, tolerances, etc.
  • Reliability of various models/types
  • compatibility, availability, interchangeability,

Quality Assurance
  • Field reviews of the systems
  • Construction personnel observations
  • District / Central Office reviews
  • Motorists comments
  • Quality Control Reports by the provider
  • Operational Reports by the provider
  • Raw data summaries if needed

The Penalties
  • Poor or Non-Performance
  • Daily / Hourly Monetary Deductions are set in
    the Special Provisions.
  • Provisional Approval Status in jeopardy with
    non-successful project.
  • Repeating Poor Track Record could cause removal
    from IWZ QPL.

IWZ Funding Issues
Funding IWZ Systems
  • Historically
  • IWZ systems are not FREE !!!
  • Only on Large / High Profile Projects
  • Public awareness
  • Funding sources are available
  • Intuitively easy to justify without warrant
    studies or B/C ratios due to high volumes,
    complexity, duration, and/or congestion.
  • Completed IWZ Systems are not studied for
    economic and safety benefits.

Funding IWZ Systems
  • Recent Status
  • Funding for construction is drying up.
  • Bells Whistles are being dropped.
  • IWZ is considered fluff for designers and
    project engineers who have never used them.
    Rural areas have little experience with IWZ
  • IWZ systems that are not field proven for
    benefits are considered economically risky,
    confusing and difficult to specify.

Funding IWZ Systems
  • Current Changes
  • Confidence in IWZ Systems
  • MN IWZ Toolbox is collecting warrants and
    benefits for each system
  • Standard specifications are developed
  • Traffic Office is working with the designers and
    project engineers to develop special provisions
  • Separate funding sources
  • IWZ Seed Program was developed
  • ITS Research Funding is looking at Work Zones

IWZ Seed Program
  • State Funding for ITS programs statewide
    controlled by Guidestar.
  • Guidestar is a group of public, private and
    educational partners dedicated to improving and
    promoting ITS in MN.
  • Guidestar dedicated a portion of the ITS Program
    funds for 3 years.

IWZ Seed Program
  • 300,000 per fiscal year (est.)
  • Started July, 2007
  • Ends June, 2010
  • IWZ Committee approves projects
  • Minnesota Guidestar member
  • Construction Office members (2)
  • Traffic Engineering Office members (2)

IWZ Seed Program
  • Guidelines were developed
  • www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/workzone/
  • Limitations on funding distribution
  • Districts may receive up to 100 funding on first
    two IWZ systems
  • Additional projects up 50 funding
  • Committee may limit funding based upon
  • Equitable distribution between Districts
  • Previous experience level with a system type
  • Districts previous experience with IWZ

Solve Existing Issues
  • Identify needs for IWZ Systems on an existing
    construction project. Projects could benefit from
    systems such as
  • Earth moving jobs could utilize trucks entering
    / exiting / crossing systems.
  • Lane closures could utilize dynamic late merge
  • Large congestion generating jobs could utilize
    travel time / delay time / alternate route

Solve Existing Issues
  • Add the IWZ System to the existing const. project
    via a Supplemental Agreement or Work Order
  • IWZ description is written and approved.
  • Negotiated cost is approved.
  • Funds for the IWZ System are transferred to the
    Construction Project.

Mitigate Future Issues
  • Identify Mobility or Safety issues that could
    be mitigated via the usage of an IWZ System.
  • This is the ultimate goal of our Mainstreaming
    IWZ Program
  • Design the IWZ Systems plans and specifications
    into the construction project.

Mitigate Future Issues
  • To design IWZ Systems into a project requires
    scoping, design/development, plans,
    specifications and a cost estimate.
  • Estimates are always necessary for the bidding
    process, but within the Seeds Program, the cost
    estimate is critical for the programs budgeting.
  • IWZ operational concepts are reviewed and
    approved continuously from scoping to design.
  • Estimated IWZ costs are approved.
  • A maximum funding amount is assigned to the IWZ
    pay item.

Add IWZ Capabilities
  • IWZ components may be purchased for the District
    for multiple usage
  • Submit a proposal for the equipments usage and
    include the cost for purchase.
  • Funds are transferred to the Districts
    Scientific Equipment Budget.
  • Example Dynamic Speed Display Sign
  • Uniform in design, publicly and technically
    well-established, self-contained, easy to deploy,
    and used frequently in maintenance or
  • Not economical to have an IWZ system provider
    deploy the system.

IWZ Seed Funding to-date
  • Excessive Speed Warning with a Snow Plow Warning
  • S.A. on TH 10 - Detroit Lakes, MN
  • Multi-lane traffic diverted onto single lane
  • 65 mph traffic slowing to 35 mph
  • Narrow curve with restricted sight-distance

IWZ Seed Funding to-date
  • Retaining wall clearance
  • Plows may cross centerline
  • Messages activated from within the plows

IWZ Seed Funding to-date
  • Travel Delay Information, Stopped Traffic Warning
    and Video Surveillance Service.
  • TH 61 Hastings, MN
  • Restrict traffic to one lane
  • Large delay times
  • Delay times displays near alternate river
    crossing locations

IWZ Seed Funding to-date
  • Delay times displayed near alternate route
    choices to avoid the congestion within the city
  • Large south bound traffic queues expected and
    panic stops could be common during construction
  • RTMC and State Patrol will monitor traffic
    visually for incidents

IWZ Seed Funding to-date
  • Dynamic Speed Display sign and Speed Data
    Recorder Equipment
  • TH 169 approach to the Minnesota River
  • Restricted to a single lane
  • Severe grades
  • Reduced speed limits
  • Speed monitoring devices
  • before/after data
  • assist in effective DSD sign placement.
  • Proposed usage on several projects within the

Funding from ITS Research
  • ITS During Major urban Reconstruction
  • Guidestar has contracted with a group of ITS
    partners to study a deployment concept for IWZ
  • Group consists of professionals in
  • ITS engineering
  • IWZ deployment expertise
  • Equipment supplier
  • Temporary traffic control expertise

  • The group is anticipated to find expedient
    methods to deploy IWZ systems on the I-35W and
    TH 62 Crosstown Commons interchange project.
  • Approx. 150,000 available
  • Contract finalized Dec, 2007

  • As a companion part of this project, an
    independent 3rd party has been contracted to
    review the processes and procedures followed by
    the group.
  • Approx. 50,000 available
  • Will monitor the systems for useful warrant and
    benefit information

  • To-date
  • Excessive Speed Warning System
  • Tight narrow curve with reduced speed limit
  • Placement of Speed Detection Devices
  • Data transmitted to Mn/DOTs RTMC
  • Travel Times computed for the corridor
  • Times are displayed on permanent and PCMS

  • More information available at
  • www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/workzone
  • MN IWZ Toolbox
  • IWZ Seed Program
  • IWZ QPL Qualification Process
  • ATSSA National Conference Presentation
  • Contact Information
  • 651-234-7380
  • marv.sohlo_at_dot.state.mn.us
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