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How does the value of time influence road user costs during work zone closures? A case study in El Paso, Texas, using simulation-based modeling methods

Jeffrey A Shelton, Peter T Martin

Abstract: It is becoming standard practice for many departments of transportation (DOTs) to use incentive/disincentive clauses (also known as road user costs) with contractors to stay on or ahead of schedule. These road user costs are clauses that DOTs use to calculate a monetary amount to encourage contractors to complete work prior to milestone dates and/or limit the time specified on the contract. The monetary amounts are typically vehicle operating costs and vehicle delay costs encumbered by highway users resulting from construction, maintenance, or rehabilitation activity. In this paper, we propose an innovative way of calculating these costs using varied values of time based on trip purpose and departure time. In addition, we use advanced pre-trip and en route traveler information to determine the influence it has on route choice. Several scenarios are modeled using an advanced, simulation-based dynamic traffic assignment model. The goal of this paper is to identify the governing factors that contribute to road use costs by determining different approaches to derive the value one places on a trip. The approach to this study is twofold: first several research methods were used to derive the value of time. Second, the use of advanced traveler information is introduced to determine if it plays a critical role in route choice. The proposed methodology shows differences in road user cost calculations. Which approach would be more receptive to a contractor while proposing roadway construction? A case study of a roadway construction project in El Paso, Texas, is used to compare different approaches to calculate road user costs.
Keywords: road / modeling / contractors / value of time / route choice / use advanced / simulation based / Texas / El Paso

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