Develop an Improved Selection Methodology for Safety Improvements at Public Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings Project TR-732, September 2018

(2018) Develop an Improved Selection Methodology for Safety Improvements at Public Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings Project TR-732, September 2018. Transportation, Department of

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Abstract

The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) currently prioritizes highway-rail grade crossing safety improvement projects and funding through a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) methodology developed by department staff in 2006. The current evaluation methodology using the benefit-cost ratio includes highway and grade crossing characteristics, highway and train traffic, accident history, societal costs, and anticipated cost of improvements. The purpose of this research was for the Iowa DOT Office of Rail Transportation to identify other variables and approaches in use by other states that the current methodology does not include, and investigate if appropriate data and methods of analysis are utilized to identify grade crossings in Iowa that are most in need of future improvements and would receive the most benefits from the limited Section 130 funding. Interviews of Iowa DOT and other state DOT staff, stakeholder survey, a Class I railroad presentation, coordination with a Technical Advisory Committee, and evaluation of the current Iowa DOT methodology and a literature review of select resources were used to develop findings, conclusions, and recommendations. From these recommendations, Iowa DOT selected a final project workplan for implementation, which included an analysis of hazard ranking practices and models used by other states to determine the best-fit and approach for Iowa (the current Texas Model was selected by Iowa DOT), development of a database / hazard ranking spreadsheet tool that is supported by the most recent FRA crash and Iowa grade crossing inventory data available to Iowa DOT and a companion project prioritization spreadsheet tool, and identification of additional datasets for identifying and prioritizing grade crossing investments in the future and potential actionable strategic program and policy changes that could improve the facilitation of the Iowa Section 130 program in Iowa in the future.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Grade Crossing Hazard Ranking Models, Highway- Railroad Grade Crossing Safety, FHWA Section 130 Program, Grade Crossing Warning Device Project Selection, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Highway Research Board, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Highway Administration
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Railroads
ID Code: 28265
Deposited By: Hannah Gehring
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2018 18:03
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2018 18:03
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/28265