Kansas Demonstration Project: Improvements to the Homestead Lane/I-35 Interchange in Johnson County
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Kansas Demonstration Project: Improvements to the Homestead Lane/I-35 Interchange in Johnson County

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    Final Report
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    The project described in this report was located at the intersection of I-35 and Homestead Lane in Johnson County, Kansas. Prior to construction, Homestead Lane was a two-lane highway passing over I-35 just outside Olathe, Kansas. There was no access to I-35 at this location. At the time of construction, I-35 was a four-lane interstate route carrying more than 25,000 vehicles per day. While the interchange design (diverging diamond) at this location is itself new to Kansas, the Highways for LIFE innovation involves the use of a real-time traffic system intended to provide direct information to the traveling public. It consists of a series of portable trailer-mounted message boards that display information from traffic detection trailers spaced along the route. The messages are intended to provide the public with information concerning travel time, delay, congestion, or other events within the work zone far enough in advance of their decision points to allow alternate route selection. The trailer-mounted sensors collect vehicle speed, classification, volume, and lane occupancy data for up to 10 lanes of traffic in each direction. These data are supplied to software via the internet and analyzed, resulting in a completely automated system to provide appropriate messages to the public through the variable message boards. There was only one crash reported during the construction period. However, the crash was reported as a "medical emergency" and was not considered related to the construction activities. The Smart Work Zone technology employed on this project did not eliminate any of the costs associated with traditional construction. All costs, excluding the construction costs, associated with the innovation were considered. An economic analysis showed that the implementation of the Smart Work Zone technology resulted in an additional cost of approximately $1,650,000. The majority of this cost was associated with the lease/purchase of the portable message system, the associated software and upgrades to existing software, and data analysis.
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