Cost implications of design speed standards

A case study approach was applied to assess the cost implications of design speed standards for rural roads in undulating terrain. The Tasmanian Department of Main Roads (DMR) provided trial designs and construction cost estimates for design speeds ranging from 50 to 90 km/h in each of three test corridors through typical Tasmanian undulating terrain. The results of reported speed studies and a vehicle operating cost simulation model were used to estimate the travel times and fuel consumption for free cars and trucks travelling each of the trial alignments. While decreased travel time appeared as the major road user benefit associated with an increase in design speed, improved grading also gave a reduction in truck fuel consumption. It would appear that, in moderately difficult terrain, traffic volumes of at least 300 vpd, and probably in excess of 1,000 vpd, are required for road user benefits to offset the additional construction costs associated with an increased design speed.

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  • Corporate Authors:


    Melbourne, Victoria  Australia 
  • Authors:
    • McLean, J R
  • Publication Date: 1978-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 51P
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: AIR 1061-1

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01439695
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 10:28PM