BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) recently initiated a new Road Safety Assessment (RSA) program to identify safety enhancements that can be made to roads already scheduled for overlay work. RSAs allow for minimal cost and impact to motorists, as they are conducted prior to the design of a scheduled overlay project. In this way, determined safety enhancements can be incorporated during the design phase of the overlay project.
This new approach gathers input from local officials and legislators, local and state police, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and DOTD personnel to determine any existing safety-related needs along a specific route and identify opportunities for low-cost safety enhancements to address those needs.
"Through the RSA initiative, DOTD is able to provide a proactive, multidisciplinary approach to enhance safety on state roads at minimal costs," said Sherri H. LeBas, DOTD Secretary. "This process gives us the opportunity to partner with legislators, local officials, local and state police and community members, to assess and respond to the needs of a community."
Ultimately, the aim of an RSA is to answer the following questions:
What elements of the road may present a safety concern: to what extent, to which road users, and under what circumstances?
What opportunities exist to eliminate or mitigate identified safety concerns?
Examples of low-cost safety enhancements include center-line rumble strips, signal timing adjustments, enhanced signage, enhanced striping, widening of curves, shoulder widening, and raised pavement markers.
The first roadway assessed through this program is La. 1030 (Cockerham Road) in Livingston Parish from La. 16 to La. 1026. Local officials, legislators, local and state police and DOTD gathered in Livingston Parish to review and summarize data for this location.
Among the attendees at the Cockerham Road RSA meeting were Rep. J. Rogers Pope and Denham Springs Mayor Jimmy Durbin. "This is a great example of local and state government coming together for the good of our community," said Rep. Pope.
Mayor Durbin echoed Pope’s sentiment saying, "I am pleased with the RSA process and look forward to the ways in which the Livingston Parish community will benefit from it."
The proposed recommendations resulting from this assessment have an estimated cost of $488,000, and are listed as followed. Pending funding availability, these safety enhancements will be taken into consideration during the design stage of the project.
Addition of reflective markers in curves for nighttime safety enhancement
Addition of a right turn-lane on La. 1030 at La. 16
Addition of a left and possibly a right turn-lane at Willow Brooks
Continuation of sidewalks from the north side of Cockerham Road to Freshwater Elementary Drive
Widening the radius of the intersection at Robbie Street and La. 1030 to facilitate school bus turning movements
Installation of back plates on all traffic signals within the project limits to improve visibility of the signal head and reduce glare
Installation of an "Intersection Ahead" sign at the east approach of Meadow Woods Boulevard to alert drivers to turning vehicles
Clearing and grubbing of trees within right-of-way limits to improve sight distance
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).