Date of Award

December 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor


Committee Members

Horowitz Alan, William Huxhold


Benefit Estimtion, Decision Model, Detour Operations


As reported in the literature, the mobility and reliability of the highway systems in the United States have been significantly undermined by traffic delays on freeway corridors due to non-recurrent traffic congestion. Many of those delays are caused by the reduced capacity and overwhelming demand on critical metropolitan corridors coupled with long incident durations. In most scenarios, if proper detour strategies could be implemented in time, motorists could circumvent the congested segments by detouring through parallel arterials, which will significantly improve the mobility of all vehicles in the corridor system. Nevertheless, prior to implementation of any detour strategy, traffic managers need a set of well-justified warrants, as implementing detour operations usually demand substantial amount of resources and manpower.

To contend with the aforementioned issues, this study is focused on developing a new multi-criteria framework along with an advanced and computation-friendly tool for traffic managers to decide whether or not and when to implement corridor detour operations. The expected contributions of this study are:

* Proposing a well-calibrated corridor simulation network and a comprehensive set of experimental scenarios to take into account many potential affecting factors on traffic manager's decision making process and ensure the effectiveness of the proposed detour warrant tool;

* Developing detour decision models, including a two-choice model and a multi-choice model, based on generated optima detour traffic flow rates for each scenario from a diversion control model to allow responsible traffic managers to make best detour decisions during real-time incident management; and

* Estimating the resulting benefits for comparison with the operational costs using the output from the diversion control model to further validate the developed detour decision model from the overall societal perspective.