Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lane merges in construction work zones are guided by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD typical lane closure guides merging vehicles from one lane into another; from the closed lane, where the construction work is taking place into the open lane. The conventional lane merge often creates conflicts for motorists because queues typically form in the open lane and aggressive drivers use this opportunity to drive in the closed lane as far as they can until forced to merge in the open lane. As a result, the conventional lane merge can create differential speeds and queue lengths imbalances between the two lanes. This study builds upon prior research by evaluating the impact of trucks (AASHTO WB40 vehicle type and larger) on the Joint Lane Merge and the MUTCD conventional lane merge. This research examines how varying truck percentages effect where the cars and trucks merge, the speed of the cars and trucks before and after merging, and the operational characteristics of both lane merges. The results of the work suggest that the presence of trucks, whether low or high, did not have a significant impact on the speed of the cars and trucks for both the conventional and Joint Lane Merge. The results also suggest that truck lane utilization and merging location are affected by the presence of varying truck percentages for both the conventional and Joint Lane Merge. While the trucks were affected by the presence of varying truck percentages for both merges, the cars only showed an affect for the Joint Lane Merge.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Dillard, James Joseph, "Effect of Heavy Vehicle on Conventional and Joint Work Zone Merges" (2015). LSU Master's Theses. 138.