Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Dollar Figure For Inconvenience

Date:
September 23, 1998
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
You're late to work after being stuck in traffic around a bridge repair. Relax. A computer shares your pain. University of Florida civil engineers are at work on a computer model that will help Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) engineers figure in "user costs" in determining when to repair or rebuild bridges.

Writer: Aaron Hoover, ahoover@ufl.edu

Source: Fazil Najafi, (352) 392-1033

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- You're late to work after being stuck in traffic around a bridge repair.

Relax.

A computer shares your pain.

University of Florida civil engineers are at work on a computer model that will help Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) engineers figure in "user costs" in determining when to repair or rebuild bridges. These costs reflect the indirect results of detours and slowdowns around bridge repairs, including commuters' missed work, added expenses for gas and wear and tear on their cars -- even the number of wrecks that might result if planners were to leave the bridge open.

"These are very important factors, and we're trying to feed them into the overall decision-making process," said Fazil Najafi, an associate professor of civil engineering and a specialist in public works, planning and management.

A total of 346 of Florida's 5,800 state-owned bridges need repairs, said Richard Kerr, bridge management inspection engineer for the DOT in Tallahassee.

In the past, the DOT has scheduled repairs around the needs of a single bridge or a group of bridges, figuring in user costs on an individual basis, Kerr said. The data used in the calculations has not been as solid as the agency would have liked, and the lack of a statewide system has sometimes resulted in overlapping projects, he said.

To remedy the problem, the agency is at work on a computerized "bridge management system" that will have consistent standards for user cost and many other variables, such as the condition of the bridge and planned new bridges in the area, Kerr said. The goal is to make the most needed repairs with the least amount of inconvenience to commuters or truck traffic, he said.

"User cost will be a significant factor, but it will not be the overriding factor," Kerrsaid. "It will be 10 to 20 percent."

Najafi said he will rely on other studies and state bridge data to create a structured model. For example, the model will seek to determine added accidents caused by allowing the bridge to remain unrepaired using past traffic and crash data from the area, and other similar areas.

There are no plans to try to put a dollar figure on driver frustration, though Najafi said he may try to quantify this variable in the future.

"It's true that when you go through a frustration process you're not functioning properly" and that could be quantified using lost work or health data, he said.

Kerr said assumptions must be made to create the user cost models, so 100 percent accuracy of the models is impossible.

But, on balance, the systems are useful, he said.

"Meteorologists model weather systems and tell us we're going to get X amount of hurricanes, then what happens isn't quite what they predicted, but you have to do the best you can with the information and tools you have available," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "A Dollar Figure For Inconvenience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922141553.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1998, September 23). A Dollar Figure For Inconvenience. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922141553.htm
University Of Florida. "A Dollar Figure For Inconvenience." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922141553.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins