AN ECONOMY STUDY AIMED AT JUSTIFYING A SECONDARY ROAD IMPROVEMENT

THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS MANY MILES OF SECONDARY AND FEEDER ROADS. MANY OF THESE ROADS, BUILT IN THE FIRST QUATER OF THIS CENTURY, HAD NARROW GRAVEL SURFACES AND POOR VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL ALIGNMENT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE SURFACES MAY HAVE BEEN UPGRADED BY ADDING A BITUMINOUS SURFACE TREATMENT OR BLANKET. IN MOST INSTANCES SURFACE MAINTENANCE COSTS AND ACCIDENT FREQUENCY ARE HIGH. MANY OF THESE ROADS ARE NOW BEING RECONSTRUCTED TO HIGH STANDARDS. ROADWAYS AND SHOULDERS ARE WIDE AND PAVED. VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL ALIGNMENT ARE DESIGNED FOR SPEEDS OF 60 OR 70 MPH. IN MOST INSTANCES, HOWEVER, HIGHWAY OFFICIALS PLAN AND EXECUTE THESE IMPROVEMENTS WITHOUT DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THE EXPENDITURES REPRESENT THE BEST USE OF THE FUNDS AT THEIR DISPOSAL. THIS PAPER PRESENTS THE FINDINGS OF SUCH AN EXAMINATION. THE ROAD SEGMENT UNDER STUDY WAS OPENED TO TRAFFIC AFTER RECONSTRUCTION IN SEPTEMBER, 1959. FINDINGS INDICATE THAT THIS ROAD IMPROVEMENT CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF SAVINGS IN MARKET COSTS, INCLUDING ACCIDENTS AND TIME COSTS OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES. THE IMPROVEMENT WAS EASILY JUSTIFIED IF TIME COSTS OF NON-COMMERCIAL VEHICLES AT CURRENTLY RECOMMENDED VALUES WERE ADDED. THE MOST VALUABLE RESULT OF THE STUDY, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN TO PINPOINT GAPS OR WEAKNESSES IN PRESENT SOURCES OF DATA THAT MUST BE CORRECTED. /AUTHOR/

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  • Accession Number: 00201392
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 5 1994 12:00AM