Interchange ramp terminals are critical components of the highway network. They provide the connection between various highway facilities (e.g., freeway-arterial and arterial-arterial), and their safe and efficient operation is essential. The objective of this research was to develop improved methods for capacity and quality-of-service analysis of interchange ramp terminals. The research focuses on at-grade intersections but not on the freeway proper. All geometric configurations and interchange types except trumpet interchanges are considered, and the scope of the research includes only signalized interchanges and not "Stop" sign-controlled interchanges and roundabouts. The development of the analytical methodology is primarily based on simulation. The reason for using simulation is that adequate samples of field data are not available, and it is prohibitively expensive to collect them for all types of interchange configurations. The research team assessed several simulation models that were identified as capable of simulating all types of interchange ramp terminals and selected the most appropriate one for model development. Once a simulation model was selected, a variety of interchange configurations were simulated, and selected measures of effectiveness were obtained. Analytical models were developed on the basis of the results of simulation to predict different measures, such as average control delay, volume-to-capacity ratio, and queue-to-storage ratio, for a variety of design and traffic control characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering