All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Virginia P Sisiopiku

Advisory Committee Members

Andrew Sullivan

Christopher Waldron

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) School of Engineering


Maintenance and Rehabilitation (M&R) works are prevalent in the US highways to preserve an acceptable level of service. In the presence of construction works, detour planning around work zones is often compulsory to carry out the repair works properly and safely while also accommodating the needs of the traveling public. Hence, it becomes important for transportation agencies to develop and implement detour plans that provide diversion options to the road users that minimize their inconvenience and travel delays in the presence of construction works. Thus, evaluating the impact of detouring due to road closure is crucial to corroborate an effective detour plan. In doing so, this thesis considered a case study of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) designated detour plan due to the closure of a 1.5-mile road segment of I-20/59 road near Birmingham downtown. The closure was needed in order to rebuild the bridges at the location and extended for one full year starting in January 2019. Since the daily traffic exceeded 160,000 vehicles before the reconstruction of this section, a significant volume of traffic needed to detour during the road closure. ALDOT designed detailed detour routes and implemented geometric and signal timing changes at major spots to accommodate anticipated traffic movements. Furthermore, ALDOT and local transportation agencies have taken great care to provide detour information through the media prior to and during construction in an effort to minimize congestion from the facility closure. In the era of in-vehicle real-time route guidance, however, it is not clear to what extent the detour information was followed by the users and what was the true impact of the detours on traffic operations. In this study, the effects of the construction work on traffic operations were quantified and documented on ArcGIS maps. More specifically, traffic conditions on several road corridors before, during, and following the construction were evaluated using travel time data analysis supported by big data analytics. The evaluation intended to appraise the impacts of the road closure on traffic movement and to what extent ALDOT’s provided detour plans worked in mitigating the road closure’s consequence. This thesis document defines the study objectives, discusses the research methodology, documents findings from the analysis of traffic data, outlines the results of impact assessments, and recaps the study conclusions. The study provides useful insights on the effects of detouring in the era of real-time traffic data analysis, which can be used as a valuable reference for researchers and planning agencies as they develop plans for detours around large scale construction projects in the future.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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