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Economic feasibility analysis of high friction surface treatments in Pennsylvania
Villanova University.
Villanova University.
Villanova University.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Each year, thousands of drivers in the United States are involved in motor vehicle crashes on the U.S. highway system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this resulted in a total of 35,092 fatalities in the year 2015. In order to address this safety concern, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has launched several program initiatives with the goal of identifying and accelerating proven low-cost safety innovations that are not yet widely utilized. One of these initiatives involves the use of High Friction Surface Treatments (HFSTs). HFSTs are pavement overlay systems in which a high quality, durable, and polish resistant aggregate topping is placed on top of a resin binder. This provides drivers increased pavement friction, and ultimately assists them to stay within their travel lane, particularly when navigating horizontal curves, or when travelling under wet pavement conditions.

Although HFSTs have a higher cost when compared to other pavements, its cost and construction schedule are moderate when compared to other alternatives to reduce crashes such as changing the superelevation and increasing right-of-way at horizontal curves. Installed costs vary widely, depending on the size of the project, the prevailing costs of labor in that particular jurisdiction, and various components of the projects such as traffic control, treatment of pavement markings, etc. Projects in general have ranged from about $25 to $35 per square yard; however, the price has been going down for larger projects and where small installations can been bundled. HFST is also characterized as having a relatively short construction schedule, resulting in limited delays for travelers.

In the past two decades, there has been an increase in HFST installations projects at the state level within the United States, with at least 80% of states having applied the treatment in at least one location as of 2016. When considering HFST projects, it is important to study the long-term benefits versus the costs. Preliminary crash data from the FHWA’s Surface Enhancements at Horizontal Curves (SEAHC) indicate benefit-cost ratios were as high as 50 to 1; however, values varied greatly from state to state.

The aim of this research is to perform a comprehensive review HFST performance from an economic perspective, through an analysis of 122 installation projects in the state of Pennsylvania, and compare to national averages. Using crash data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), it analyzes cost of installation along with the extent of their effectiveness in reducing crashes at various facility types. The findings serve as a proof of concept to show how DOTs can use crash data to determine the top locations types to invest in HFST projects for the best return on investment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, 2018.
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Research subject
X RSXC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-12896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vti-12896DiVA, id: diva2:1203813
Conference
18th International Conference Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C 2018), Jeju Island, South Korea, May 16-18, 2018
Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-05-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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