New Framework and Decision Support Tool to Warrant Detour Operations during Freeway Corridor Incident Management

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2011
March 2012
June 2012
September 2012
December 2012
March 2013
Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

Yue Liu
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
PO BOX 784
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0784


Up to 60% of freeway delays are due to non-recurrent congestion caused by reduced capacity on a freeway section coupled with long incident durations. In such conditions, if proper detour strategies could be implemented in time, traffic could circumvent the congested segments by diverting to parallel arterials. Nevertheless, prior to implementation of any detour strategy, traffic managers need a set of warrants, as detour operations usually demand substantial amount of resources and manpower.

This research will develop an effective decision-support tool to assist traffic managers to warrant appropriate detour operations under various incident scenarios and corridor network configurations. Well-justified detour decisions can result in substantial economic savings (e.g. reduced fuel wastage and emissions) and safety benefits for the freight industry and society due to the less delay and fewer stops of trucks and all other vehicles. Such benefits will increase significantly in future with the expected increase in freight traffic on the traffic network. The proposed tool also has the flexibility to be further integrated with other incident management modules to better assist traffic managers in making critical decisions during their daily operations.


To develop 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.


  1. Construct a comprehensive incident scenario dataset.
  2. Develop simulated corridor and experimental scenarios.
  3. Implement detour strategy for each experimental scenario.
  4. Estimate the benefits and costs of detour operations.
  5. Develop and validate the detour decision models and tools.
  6. Document the research findings in technical reports.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2011 – August 31, 2012
  • Budget: $120,523 (with $43, 261 in matching funds)
  • Student Involvement: Two graduate students and three undergraduates
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 05-15
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