Quick Zones

Target Audience

Engineers, planners, designers, contractors, inspectors


What is the true cost of a road construction or improvement project? Very few state and local highway officials or construction contractors can give a full answer, even after projects are completed and paid for. That's because, in the overwhelming majority of cases, officials and contractors have calculated only "hard costs," such as labor and materials. Enter QuickZone. QuickZone is recently released software that will estimate traveler delay due to work zones. By doing so, it will provide a more complete and realistic view of total construction costs. The software was developed by the Office of Research, Development, and Technology in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and by Mitretek Systems. QuickZone is a key component of the Strategic Work-Zone Analysis Tools (SWAT) Program of FHWA. QuickZone will provide results in an easily readable spreadsheet form. The program will offer suggestions for bringing the amount of delay under control. Suggestions may include:

  • A news media campaign to get information out about the planned work zone so that drivers may choose other routes if possible.
  • Posting or activating highway information signs that will inform motorists of the scheduled dates and times of the work zone.
  • Retiming signals on detour routes so that motorists won't have to stop at multiple red lights.
  • Changing the times of construction to make the project more cost-effective to both the contractor and the motorist. For example, officials may have planned night construction to ease delays, but it may actually be more cost-effective for everyone to do a project over the course of one full day rather than two or three nights. Or, it may be better to close a lane and finish a project in two weeks rather than trying to keep all lanes open and making it a six-week project.
  • An overview of "Making Work Zones Work Better" will be previewed during this workshop. Over the past twenty years, the amount of "severe" congestion has doubled and the amount of "extreme" congestion has tripled. Statistics show that more than 24% of all non-recurring congestion is due to work zones. Congestion has been projected to increase by 50% over the next ten years. The public has expressed concern over mobility and safety in and around work zones. Travelers are frustrated with delays caused by roadwork.

Credit Hours

7 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

0.7 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)