Resurfacing is one of the more common construction activities on highways. While its effect on riding quality on any type of roadway is obviously positive; its impact on safety as measured in terms of crashes is far from obvious. This study examines the safety effects of the resurfacing projects on multilane arterials with partially limited access. Empirical Bayes method, which is one of the most accepted approaches for conducting before–after evaluations, has been used to assess the safety effects of the resurfacing projects. Safety effects are estimated not only in terms of all crashes but also rear-end as well as severe crashes (crashes involving incapacitating and fatal injuries). The safety performance functions (SPFs) used in this study are negative binomial crash frequency estimation models that use the information on ADT, length of the segments, speed limit and number of lanes. These SPFs are segregated by crash groups (all, rear-end, and severe), length of the segments being evaluated, and land use (urban, suburban, and rural). The results of the analysis show that the resulting changes in safety following resurfacing projects vary widely. Evaluating additional improvements carried out with resurfacing activities showed that all (other than sidewalk improvements for total crashes) of them consistently led to improvements in safety of multilane arterial sections. It leads to the inference that it may be a good idea to take up additional improvements if it is cost effective to do them along with resurfacing. It was also found that the addition of turning lanes (left and/or right) and paving shoulders were two improvements associated with a project's relative performance in terms of reduction in rear-end crashes.


Civil and Environmental Engineering



URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/221