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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2004-11


Title: SD44 Speed Warning System
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Manager: Jon Becker
Research Period: 3/15/2005 -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Near Mileage Reference Marker 38 on SD44 west of Rapid City, eastbound traffic sometimes encounters a combination slippery pavement, steep grade and a sharp curve. The location can catch motorists by surprise despite a warning sign indicating an 8% grade. The situation is worse during winter because the area is shaded throughout most of the day, prolonging frost conditions. Inspections conducted for the Departments Roadway Safety Improvement (RSI) program identified a combination of curvature, grade, and vehicle speed as factors contributing to accidents at the location. Since 1996, three accidents at this site have been attributed to ice or frost, and 19 have been attributed to the curve. Guardrail, arrow, and chevron signs are in place for both east- and westbound traffic. Flashing lights and rumble strips were added during the summer of 2000. In 1999 through 2001 alone 8 accidents were attributed to the curve. The mountainous terrain makes geometric improvements prohibitively costly. Improvements to the site include rumble strips, increased warning sign size, and continuous flashers.

The work proposed at this site would include installation of instrumentation to monitor the surface condition and detect the speed of approaching vehicles. A vehicle approaching at speeds inappropriate to surface conditions would receive a warning of excessive speed. The system would communicate road conditions to SDDOTs Road Condition and Reporting System (RSRS), the database for 511 Travel Information and other information systems. The system must therefore comply with National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) standards for communications with roadside equipment and environmental sensor stations.

This project entails developing plans and specifications for the system, and installing it by maintenance or under a separate installation contract. SDDOTs future RSI reviews will determine how much accidents decrease.



Findings:
Title: SD44 Speed Warning System
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, DOT
Project Manager: Jon Becker
Research Period: 3/15/2005 -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Near Mileage Reference Marker 38 on SD44 west of Rapid City, eastbound traffic sometimes encounters a combination slippery pavement, steep grade and a sharp curve. The location can catch motorists by surprise despite a warning sign indicating an 8% grade. The situation is worse during winter because the area is shaded throughout most of the day, prolonging frost conditions. Inspections conducted for the Departments Roadway Safety Improvement (RSI) program identified a combination of curvature, grade, and vehicle speed as factors contributing to accidents at the location. Since 1996, three accidents at this site have been attributed to ice or frost, and 19 have been attributed to the curve. Guardrail, arrow, and chevron signs are in place for both east- and westbound traffic. Flashing lights and rumble strips were added during the summer of 2000. In 1999 through 2001 alone 8 accidents were attributed to the curve. The mountainous terrain makes geometric improvements prohibitively costly. Improvements to the site include rumble strips, increased warning sign size, and continuous flashers.

The work proposed at this site would include installation of instrumentation to monitor the surface condition and detect the speed of approaching vehicles. A vehicle approaching at speeds inappropriate to surface conditions would receive a warning of excessive speed. The system would communicate road conditions to SDDOTs Road Condition and Reporting System (RSRS), the database for 511 Travel Information and other information systems. The system must therefore comply with National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) standards for communications with roadside equipment and environmental sensor stations.

This project entails developing plans and specifications for the system, and installing it by maintenance or under a separate installation contract. SDDOTs future RSI reviews will determine how much accidents decrease.



Findings:

Research Objectives:
1  To acquire and install a system that will warn motorists of a sharp curve, slippery conditions, and excessive speed.
2  To report road conditions at the site to SDDOT's RCRS and 511 travel information system.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Visit the site to determine site layout and determine sensor and warning sign positions.
3  Review literature to determine equipment available to warn motorists of excessive speeds and slippery road conditions.
4  Meet with the technical panel and recommend equipment to be used, specifications and site layout for sensors and displays, the method of communication to the Road Condition Reporting System, and a system acceptance plan. The recommendation should inc
5  Monitor the installation of sensing and warning equipment, which would be done by maintenance forces or by informal contract.
6  Evaluate the system for 30 days to determine proper operation, sensing of moisture or frost on the pavement, excessive speed of traffic, appropriate warning displayed and communicated to RCRS.
7  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
8  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:
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