Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Ogle, Jennifer

Committee Member

Sarasua , Wayne

Committee Member

Chowdhury , Mashrur

Abstract

Traffic Incident Management (TIM) programs are used in many states across the nation to efficiently clear interstate incidents and alleviate congestion in response to incidents. The overarching goal of this research is to maintain safety of the motoring public and incident responders while reducing congestion, secondary collisions, and traffic delays from incidents that occur on South Carolina highways. To reduce incident clearance times along the I-26 corridor between Columbia and Charleston through the implementation of a Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program, several objectives for this thesis were established to move toward the goal, including; defining gaps between national TIM best-practices and SC TIM practices recommending programmatic changes to address gaps based on best-practices literature, developing training materials to address programmatic changes as needed, and assessing existing performance measurement metrics and suggest improvements to better evaluate changes in program effectiveness. The nationally recommended best practices were compared to the current South Carolina practices. Gaps were observed and SCDOT expressed interest in developing towing, coroner, HAZMAT, and crash investigation procedures. Successful programs involving these groups of responders were evaluated, including implementation costs and challenges. Several successful national programs, as well as those in Florida, Georgia, and numerous other states were included in this step. This specifically included incentive based towing programs, fatality removal programs, HAZMAT training procedures, and crash investigation technologies. It is recommended that these programs be considered and investigated further when implementing a SC TIM plan. It was however noted that while basic HAZMAT training is necessary, a large or full-scale program may not be cost effective. After analyzing the data, areas where data collection could be improved were determined. It is recommended that responders more consistently collect on-scene arrival time for all agencies. Additionally, due to the high number of incidents that seem to be timing out and recording recovery times that are too long, it is recommended that improvements to the data collection process be made.

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