2+1-roads with cable barriers - safety and traffic performance results

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Torsten Bergh
Arne Carlsson

The objectives of this paper are to present the Swedish National Road Administration (SNRA) development program to upgrade traffic safety on existing 13 m using low cost measures, and also to summarize all important results and findings until April 2001 from opened projects as yet, totally about 200 km. There is a significant gap in traffic performance, safety,investment and maintenance costs, land requirement and intrusion between normal two-lane and four-lane cross-sections. In Sweden this gap so far hasbeen filled with a 13 m road with 3.75 m traffic lanes and 2.75 m hard shoulders. The traffic performance of these roads is quite satisfactory but there are safety problems with fatal accidents. Almost 100 people are killed and about 400 people are severely injured every year on 13 m roads due to thehuge traffic load, still being the safest two-lane road. The main problem onall two-lane roads is run-off and meeting accidents causing more than 50% ofall fatalities. The event process tends to be the same. The driver looses control for some reason and crashes against some obstacle in the roadside area or in the shape of an opposing unlucky driver. In 1998, the directorgeneral of SNRA decided on a full-scale program to improve traffic safety on six existing 13 m roads using low-cost measures, preferably within an existing right-of-way. The main alternative is the 2+1-solution with aseparating cable barrier, preferable within the existing width 13 m. This solution was estimated to have a potential to prevent some 50% of all severe link accidents. Findings so far have been judged so successful that SNRA has decided to replace the old 13 m road with the 2+1-solution on a general basis.

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