THE IMPACTS OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORK ZONES ON THE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, TRAVEL BEHAVIOR OF ROAD USERS AND SURROUNDING BUSINESSES.
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In our daily use of the transportation system, we are faced with several road construction work zones. These construction work zones change how road users interact with the transportation system due to the changes that occur in the system such as increased travel times, increased delay times and vehicle stopped times. A microscopic traffic simulation was developed to depict the changes that occur in the transportation system. The impacts of the changes in the transportation system on the human travel behavior was investigated using ordered probit and logit models using five independent variables; age, gender, driving experience, annual mileage and percentage of non-work trips. Finally, a business impact assessment framework was developed to assess the impact of the road construction work zones on various businesses categories such as grocery stores, pharmacy, liquor stores and fast foods. Traffic simulation results showed that the introduction of work zones in the road network introduces an increase in delay times, vehicle stopped times, and travel times. Also, the change in average travel times, delay times and vehicle stopped times differed from road link to link. The observed average changes saw an increase as high as 318 seconds per vehicle, 237 seconds per vehicle and 242 seconds per vehicle for travel time, delay time and vehicle stopped time, respectively, for the morning peak period. An average increase as high as 1607 seconds per vehicle, 258 seconds per vehicle and 265 seconds per vehicle was observed for travel time, delay time and vehicle stopped time, respectively, for the afternoon peak period. The statistical model results indicated that, on a work trip, a high driving experience, high annual mileage, and high percentage of non-work trips makes an individual more likely to change their route. The results also showed gender difference in route choice behavior. Concerning business impacts, businesses in the work zone were impacted differently with grocery and pharmacy stores having the highest and lowest total loss in revenue, respectively.