In the last decade, many single carriageway roads in Sweden have been converted to collision-free roads as a cost-effective alternative to conventional motorways. Investigations have concluded that the road type has been successful in reducing the number of fatal accidents, despite increased operation and maintenance costs. In recent years, the focus has shifted to converting narrower roads which are anticipated to further increase operation and maintenance cost but also complicate traffic management during road works.
There are concerns that when life cycle cost is considered in the investment assessment the socioeconomic profitability could be reduced. This article examines this issue by first assessing changes in costs for operation and maintenance using a life cycle cost analysis approach applied on a case study. The results from the analysis were thereafter integrated into a cost–benefit analysis to assess changes in costs in relation to benefits in improved traffic safety and travel time. The analysis indicated profitability even with substantial increase in operation, maintenance and road user work zone costs. Results are discussed from project implementation and road management perspectives.