Cost-Benefit Methodology for Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Safety Protocols As Applied to Transportation IInfrastructure Project Prioritization Processes
Walter Kemmsies, PhD, Ricardo Cruz, Tavla Solutions, A.R. Thomas, PE, North Carolina Department of Transportation
Cost-Benefit Methodology for Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Safety Protocols as applied to Data transportation infrastructure project prioritization processes designed to incorporate economic factors into existing project selection criteria.
This paper summarizes Moffatt & Nichol’s research for North Carolina Department of Transportation on estimating the anticipated cost of crashes at highway-rail grade crossings with particular focus on advances in the estimation of the cost of an at-grade crash. The methodology can be used (1) as an input for benefit cost analysis in the selection of remedial correcting actions, and (2) as an alternate screening process for identifying potentially high-risk crossings based on their expected crash cost.
The paper is structured in three sections. Section 1 describes the methodology for calculating the cost of a grade crossing crash and expected cost of crashes at a highway-rail grade crossing based on existing literature. Section 2 presents a case study on how to calculate the cost of crash that has already occurred at an at-grade-crossing using the methodology presented in section 1. Section 3 combines the developed framework with existing screening and predictive measures from the Federal Highway Administration’s Railroad-Grade Crossing handbook to screen for potentially high-risk at-grade-crossings based on their estimated crash cost.
The methodology in this paper uses the findings from “Development of a Methodology for Assessment of Crash Costs at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings in Nebraska” (May 2012) by Mid-America Transportation Center and NCHRP Report 755: “Comprehensive Costs of Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Crashes” (2013) as its primary research sources for estimating the cost of an individual crash. Our paper demonstrates how the methodologies and frameworks in these two reports can be combined to perform a cost-benefit analysis to select remedial correcting actions and thus serve as an alternate screening process for identifying potentially high-risk crossings based on their expected crash cost.
Association for European Transport