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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-082    Date:  December 2017
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-082
Date: December 2017

 

Safety Evaluation of Signalized Restricted Crossing U-Turn Intersections

Chapter 6. Economic Analysis

This evaluation included an economic analysis on the installation of a signalized RCUT. The results of this analysis can help inform transportation agencies on the benefits and costs of this countermeasure.

To conduct the analysis, the project team employed annualized benefits and costs. Benefits included fewer crashes and shorter travel times. The costs included construction of the RCUT and maintenance of the extra traffic signals required by the RCUT. These benefits and costs should entail the majority of all quantifiable impacts of RCUT installation. The analysis essentially estimated the effects of signalized RCUT installation at a site that has characteristics that are average compared to the 11 test sites in this research.

The project team obtained construction cost data for 9 of the 11 test sites, as shown in table 15. Officials in Alabama emphasized that cost estimates were for RCUT-related items only, while officials in Ohio stated that cost estimates included items that were indirectly related to the RCUT. In that regard, underestimates from Alabama might balance overestimates from Ohio and still provide what looks to be a reasonable average.

Table 15. Estimated construction cost by site.

Site

Estimated Construction Cost

AL-Plum

$500,000

AL-Retail

$500,000

OH-Symmes

$6,500,000

OH-Tylersville

$10,700,000

OH-Hamilton-Mason

$4,700,000

TX-Evans

$2,580,000

TX-Stone Oak

$2,580,000

TX-New Guibeau

$2,850,000

TX-Shaenfield

$2,850,000

Average

$3,750,000

AL = Alabama; OH = Ohio; TX = Texas.

The following assumptions were made during the analysis:

The analysis resulted in a $354,000 annualized construction cost. When added to the annual maintenance cost for three extra signals at $15,000, this yielded a total annualized RCUT cost of $369,000. For benefits, using several of the assumptions above, the project team estimated the operations to save 103 hours of motorist time per workday, which equates to $388,000 per year. The safety benefit was a savings of 3.0 property-damage-only crashes per year and 2.3 injury and fatal crashes per year, which results in an annual monetary savings of $948,000. Thus, the B/C ratio was 2.6 to 1.0 considering the safety benefits only and 3.6 to 1.0 considering the safety and operational benefits.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recommends testing the sensitivity of economic analysis results to differences in crash costs by examining the results with 0.57 and 1.41 times the recommended crash costs.(10) Table 16 provides the results from that test. Even at the low levels of crash cost, considering safety only, installing a signalized RCUT at sites like those tested under the assumptions previously listed will be beneficial, and at high crash cost levels, the effort is very beneficial.

Table 16. Sensitivity of B/C ratios.

Parameter

Recommended Crash Cost

Lower Crash Cost

Higher Crash Cost

2014 cost per property-damage-only crash

$18,000

$10,000

$25,000

2014 cost per injury crash

$384,000

$219,000

$541,000

B/C ratio including safety only

2.6

1.5

3.6

B/C ratio including safety and operations

3.6

2.5

4.7

 

 

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