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About the Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative

In 1999, the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska created the Midwest States Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative (MwSWZDI). Through this pooled-fund study, researchers investigate better ways of controlling traffic through work zones. Their goal is to improve the safety and efficiency of traffic operations and highway work. In 2001, Wisconsin joined the MwSWZDI consortium.

The project is part of the Transportation Pooled Fund Program, Study Number TPF-5(081). The name has changed slightly by dropping "Midwest" from the title. The project is now administered by Iowa State University's Institute for Transportation. The lead agency is the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Sample projects

During the first four years of MwSWZDI, a total of 35 technologies were deployed and evaluated in the five states. Some of the technologies evaluated include

  • The Wizard Work Zone Alert and Information Radio. It is designed to give drivers of heavy trucks enough advance warning of upcoming delays at construction sites or incidents to enable them to stop safely before encountering lines of halted vehicles.
  • The Portable Traffic Management System. Real-time traffic-responsive information is provided to drivers through a variable message sign to advise drivers of a work zone ahead and encourage them to divert to an alternate route when there is congestion in the work zone.
  • Temporary Work Zone Rumble Strips. Several different versions were evaluated.
  • D-25 Speed Advisory Sign System. The system detects the presence of slow moving or stopped traffic on the approach to the work zone and provides warning to drivers via speed messages displayed on trailer-mounted variable message signs. The speed messages advise approaching motorists of the traffic speed ahead.