Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Thobias Sando

Second Advisor

Dr. Ramin Shabanpour

Third Advisor

Dr. Priyanka Alluri

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan

College Dean

Dr. William F. Klostermeyer


Traffic congestion is one of the major concerns in urban motorways. Agencies are implementing various Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O) strategies to reduce traffic congestion on roadway networks. Ramp metering is a TSM&O strategy that utilizes signals installed at freeways’ on-ramps to dynamically manage traffic entering the freeway. RMSs have been effective at alleviating recurring congestion. Recurring congestion, however, constitutes less than half of all congestion. More than half of all congestion is due to non-recurring events such as incidents, work zones, adverse weather conditions, special events, etc., that adversely affect the performance of a highway. Non-recurring congestion on freeways, especially during the weekend, could be alleviated by activating RMSs based on prevailing traffic conditions along the freeway corridor. This study focused on establishing a set of guidelines for activating RMSs during weekend non-recurring congestion. A microscopic simulation model was used to establish the guideline considering non-recurring congestion due to traffic incidents. It also took account of several incident attributes, including incident location, clearance duration, and the number of lanes blocked. Sensitivity analysis and statistical tests were performed to develop the guidelines. The results showed that, for a two-lane blockage incident, activation of RMSs upstream of the incident location was necessary when ramp volume was above 800 vphpl and freeway mainline volume was above 950 vphpl, whereas for a three-lane blockage incident, activation was needed when ramp volume was higher than 750 vphpl and freeway mainline volume exceeded 850 vphpl. For both incident scenarios, RMSs needed to be activated when speeds were less than 50 mph. Furthermore, activation of RMSs on the weekend improved the average speed of the study roadway network by at least 7 % and reduced the delay by at least 15%.