The National Academies

NCHRP 03-56 [Completed]

Systemwide Impact of Safety and Traffic Operation Design Decisions for Resurfacing, Restoration, or Rehabilitation (RRR) Projects

  Project Data
Funds: $434,874 (including FHWA $35,000)
Research Agency: Midwest Research Institute
Principal Investigator: Douglas Harwood
Effective Date: 5/15/1996
Completion Date: 9/30/2002

Rresearchdeveloped a process for allocating resources to maximize the effectiveness of RRR projects in improving safety and traffic operations on the nonfreeway highway network. The Resurfacing Safety Resource Allocation Program (RSRAP) uses an optimization process to determine which improvement alternatives (or combinations of alternatives) would optimize the benefits for a specified set of projects.

The deterioration of pavement structures and the limited resources available to rehabilitate roadways will continue to be dominant issues in DOT selection and scheduling of RRR projects. From a design perspective, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find an appropriate balance between the need to rehabilitate the pavement structure and the desire to provide the highest possible level of systemwide safety and traffic operational efficiency given limited resources. The problem is compounded by the lack of consensus on the best approach to determine the optimal expenditure of funds on safety and operational improvements. There have been efforts to develop and apply analytical methods to optimize the allocation of limited resources. These resource-allocation methods can be useful for determining the scope for a specific project and for selecting an optimal set of projects under a given budget, but these methods have not been used for establishing RRR programs. There is a need for a process that combines the knowledge about the safety and traffic impacts and the resource-allocation methods to assist DOTs in selecting projects and defining project features to maximize systemwide cost-effectiveness.

The findings of the study are documented in NCHRP Report 486, Systemwide Impact of Safety and Traffic Operations Design Decisions for 3R Projects. This report provides a description of the research performed to develop RSRAP. The RSRAP software and user's manual (CRP-CD-28) is also included with the report.

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