The Idaho Department of Transportation (IDT) is interested in the development of a computer model that can calculate an estimate of user costs of travel time delays due to work zones. The IDT hopes that such a computer model could generate a benefit/cost ratio that will aid in the decision making process regarding future highway construction projects. The project is similar to a computer program previously developed for the IDT by the University of Idaho (U of I) that calculated the economic impact of time delays induced by winter road conditions.
This report will review the method and model used in calculation the economic impact of winter maintenance time delays and its possible adaption to work zone time delays. Then will analyze the models developed by other researchers, states and the Federal Highway Administration that have the best potential for application to the work zone economic impact estimation in Idaho.
These models must have methods to:
- Calculate the time delay to road users induced by a given construction or road maintenance project
- Translate that time delay into a dollar amount (user costs).
The conversion into a dollar amount represents the amount of money that highway users would lose as a result of any vehicle time delay in a work zone.