Fleets consider route planning around road construction

As spring weather begins to warm the country, many drivers are preparing for an onslaught of state transportation projects that could close vital roads or restrict vital roads and disrupt planned travel times with long delays. Whether it's repairing severe potholes, repaving old roads or expanding highways, fleets can expect an increase in road construction as the season progresses. While these initiatives may be worse in some areas than others, even small road repairs can contribute to issues for drivers on tight schedules. Vehicle routing software can help businesses plan driver routes that minimize road construction delays. 

Many states prepare for big projects 
Fleets that frequently have drivers on routes in California may be well advised to note the state has massive transportation projects planned in the coming months. The California Transportation Commission recently allocated $333 million to fund 91 projects that will improve the state's roads. While the final results could contribute to improved infrastructure in the state, construction could lead to delays in the weeks ahead and disrupt commercial driver schedules in the short term. 

Planning travel through Illinois should take into account the massive projects soon to be underway across the state. Chicago area ABC affiliate WLS reported the state is about to start one of the most extensive early season construction projects in its history - a $486 million initiative to improve major roads and bridges. More than 200 road and bridge projects are scheduled to start soon, one of which calls for the reconstruction of a feeder ramp to I-94 and requires repaving and resurfacing the area and improving nearby intersections. Other improvements will call for a $19.4 million bridge replacement over I-90 and millions in resurfacing projects on major routes. 

"Illinois has a world-class transportation system and we are making it even stronger by carrying out one of the largest spring construction programs ever," said Governor Pat Quinn. "This bold investment will help put thousands of people to work improving our roads and bridges and laying the foundation for economic development for years to come."

Avoiding the problems that come with big construction projects 
While drivers may not be able to avoid short-term lane closures, delays and rough conditions once they're already on the road, route planners can take steps to optimize routing during warmer seasons that avoids long-term construction projects. State transportation websites often provide estimates of expected duration for major roadway work. Distribution and delivery fleets that schedule multiple stops throughout the day for drivers can benefit from routing and scheduling software that allows them to quickly adapt to real-world conditions. Easy-to-use software can automate the planning of efficient routes for drivers that specifically avoid certain stretches of roadway or certain highways during specific times of day, or take into account longer travel times during peak traffic periods. Such tools can minimize the effect of necessary infrastructure improvements on fleet productivity, company profits and driver satisfaction.