This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the cost-effectiveness of paving rural primary highway shoulders. The methodology utilized compares the accident experience between highway sections similar in all respects, except for the presence or absence of a paved shoulder. The generally lower accident rate on paved shoulder highways is translated into dollar benefits and related to a range of paved shoulder construction costs and traffic volumes for the purpose of constructing cost-effectivenes graphs. The methodology is a feasible technique. A lower accident experience is associated with various types of highways having predominantly 3-ft to 4-ft paved shoulders, when compared with the identical highway counterpart in the unpaved shoulder category. A lower accident severity index is associated with homogeneous highway sections having 3-ft to 4-ft paved shoulders, when compared with identical highway counterparts having unpaved shoulders. For two-lane, two-way roadways, 3000 vehicle/day to 4000 vehicle/day category; the minimum cost-effectiveness occurs within the 2000 vehicle/day to 3000 vehicle/day category. Investment return analyses can be used to measure the cost-effectiveness of placing shoulders on two-lane two-way roadways, using as benefits only the estimated reductions in accident costs. For several shoulder paving alternatives under consideration, a priority ranking can be formulated, based upon either the earliest pay-off year in which the initial paving costs are recovered, or the alternatives with the largest rate of return. (MW)

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  • Accession Number: 00132175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proc Paper No. 10921
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 23 1977 12:00AM