FHWA originally hoped to release QuickZone 1.0 last March through its distribution agent, the McTrans Center, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, but the schedule lagged. "It could come tomorrow," says McTrans Director Bill Sampson. The price will be $195.

The Microsoft Excel Workbook application has minimal system requirements.

"It looks to be a comprehensive and elaborate model that could only have been done by someone with a lot of experience in that area," says beta tester David Hale, an engineering assistant at UF. The interface needs improvement, however, he adds.

The software was developed in response to a 1998 study that found that in all but a few high-visibility projects, traveler delay and the trade-off between construction costs and delay costs typically were not considered in project planning.

he Federal Highway Administration is set to release, by Jan. 31, much anticipated software for analyzing traffic delays and costs of construction work zone plans.