techNIcAl ASSIStANce prOgrAm

Technology Exchange
SprINg 2011

VOl. 26 NO. 1

the Safety edge: A pavement edge Drop-Off treatment
An Everday Counts Initiative
from FHWA publication FHWA-SA-10-034 What is the Safety Edge? The Safety Edge is a simple but effective solution that can help save lives by allowing drivers who drift off highways to return to the road safely. Instead of a vertical drop-off, the Safety Edge shapes the edge of the pavement to 30 degrees. Research has shown this is the optimal angle to allow drivers to re-enter the roadway safely. The asphalt Safety Edge provides a strong, durable transition for all vehicles. Even at higher speeds, vehicles can return to the paved road smoothly and easily. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) goal is to accelerate the use of the Safety Edge technology, working with States to develop specifications and adopt this pavement edge treatment as a standard practice on all new paving and resurfacing projects. Representatives of the LA LTAP and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) joined other states and FHWA at an Everyday Counts Summit last fall to learn more about the safety edge and other selected technologies being promoted by FHWA. The Safety
cont. on page 7

National Work Zone Awareness Week Set for April 4-8 pAge TWO

Roadside Vegetation Management pAge ThRee

ApWA News pAgeS fOuR/SIx

Decade of Action in Road Safety Begins in 2011/ LTAp Reginal Meeting highlights Safety pAgeS fOuR/fIVe

A local technical Assistance program of the louisiana transportation research center in cooperation with lADOtD, FhWA, and lSU.

National Work Zone Awareness Week April 4-8, 2011
The first week in April has been designated National Work Zone Awareness Week. Public service announcements, ad campaigns, and media coverage will be used to enlighten roadway users of the carnage that has occurred in work zones over the last year. Drivers will be reminded that injury and deaths can be reduced, if not eliminated, by simply slowing down and becoming more aware. In addition, stepped up enforcement in work zones will be conducted to reinforce the message. Common driver behaviors causing work zone crashes are inattentive drivers, disregarding traffic control devices, following too closely, and exceeding the speed limit. Sound familiar to you? The FHWA reports that: • One fatality occurs every 10 hours in a U.S. work zone • One work zone injury occurs every 13 minutes in the U.S. • 42% of work zone crashes occur in the transition zone prior to the work area. • 1 in 3 work zone crashes are rear-end collisions. • 4 in 5 work zone fatalities are motorists; the others are workers. The most dangerous time for work crews is the initial setup and removal of traffic control devices. This is the period when workers are trying to advise motorists of what to expect ahead, show them their proper path of travel, and arrange their workstations in a safe environment. Once established, a curious thing happens – people want to know what is going on. The drivers become distracted by work zone equipment, wanting to know what is being done outside the travel lane that they are in, how long it is going to take, and what will the improvement mean to them. Distraction leads to collisions, both sideswipes and rear-enders. Drivers tend to drift toward the object they are looking at. That is why so many law enforcement vehicles are struck while parked on the shoulder with their emergency lights flashing. A momentary lapse of concentration, a distraction either within or outside of the vehicle, is not only dangerous to the driver but to anyone within the recovery

David McFarland, LTAP’s work zone safety trainer, shares thoughts based on his years of experience working in the field with state and local road agencies.
area, including roadway workers and their equipment. Designated work zones are designed to protect both the worker and motoring public. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) contains guidance on the standardization of work zone design and traffic control through work zones. Education and Training: What we need to know—It’s a matter of perspective It might be helpful to view the need for education from a couple of different perspectives. As a roadway worker, I would like to see the motorist stand out here for an hour and find out what it’s like to have 2,800 pounds of metal going by within three feet of where I’m standing. As a utility worker, I wish the designer of this road had left some room for my vehicle and crew, so we could work without having to be in traffic. The motorist could show workers how hard they are to see without bright, reflective clothing and what the motorist would have done differently if they had been warned in advance that normal conditions had changed, if only for 15 minutes. There is regular training conducted by the LADOTD, LTAP, and other organizations on the design and implementation of safe work zones. Contractors are required to have trained personnel to work on state road projects. There is even special training for law enforcement officers assigned to work zones. Work Zone Awareness week will include other special education and outreach activities to the general public. Don’t underestimate the potential danger of work zones or the tremendous opportunity to implement the safest work zone possible by following the appropriate guidelines and standards for work zone design. This ensures that workers are properly trained to install and then work in an active work zone. Also, remember your responsibility as a driver on our public roads. Stay attentive, be patient, and don’t jeopardize your safety or the safety of other motorists or workers. General safety guidelines for roadway workers include: • Expect the unexpected and don’t assume drivers see you. • Understand the difficulty drivers have in negotiating work
cont. on page 5


roadside Vegetation management
LTAP Workshop Highlights Annual Maintenance Programs
Louisiana, like other southern states, has an extended growing season that can result in vegetation growth becoming both an aesthetic and a safety challenge. LTAP’s recent workshops included processes to implement an environmentally sound and cost-effective herbicide spray program and considered the safety impacts of vegetation management. In addition to the technical aspects of using pesticides, the program also included sessions on how to purchase off state contract, as well as give recommendations for particular problem weed species. The main goals of vegetation control include: • Keeping signs visible to drivers. • Keeping road users (vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians) visible to drivers. • Improving visibility of livestock and wildlife near the road. • Helping pedestrians and bicyclists see motor vehicles. • Keeping sidewalks and pedestrian paths clear and free from overhanging vegetation. • Removing trees close to the roadway that could result in a severe crash if hit. • Helping drainage systems function as designed. • Preserving pavements through day lighting and root system control. • Controlling noxious weeds in accordance with local laws and ordinances. The LTAP seminars were conducted by Rick Bayhi, a LDAF licensed chemical consultant, who has over 35 years of experience in the herbicide industry. David McFarland of LTAP facilitated the classes. Tips for Roadside Vegetation Management Roadway agencies are encouraged to develop roadside vegetation management programs to define the best maintenance practices for their location. An integrated roadside vegetation management program consists of eliminating or controlling vegetation through a variety of strategies including mowing, brush cutting (mechanical and hand), using herbicides, grazing of livestock, cultivating desirable vegetation, and re-vegetation. If noxious weeds are present, mowing, for example, will spread the seeds and spread the infestation, so you have more work to do next year. The use of herbicides may not be permitted by local ordinance, or a plant on the Threatened and Endangered Species list may be present. Different species require different treatments. One useful way to look at how and why vegetation control is needed for safety is to think in terms of Roadside Management Zones. Some material taken from FHWA publication No. FHWASA-07-018 Vegetation Control For Safety. 3

ApWA National president Swears in New chapter Officers
George Crombie, the president of the National American Public Works Association (APWA), was in Mandeville on December 13, 2011, to install the 2011 Louisiana Chapter officers. Shannon Davis, the public works director of St. Tammany Parish of the APWA North Shore Branch, was sworn in as 2011 President. Terry Blades of East Baton Rouge Public Work Department was sworn in as the President-Elect, and Nathan Junius of Linfield Hunter & Junius, Inc. is the new Vice President. The Louisiana APWA Chapter has three branches: the North Shore, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. The State Chapter officers include representation from all branches. The LTAP is represented by Marie Walsh as a board member and the chair of the Education Committee. Crombie praised the Louisiana Branch of APWA for persevering in wake of storms since 2005 and talked about the future of APWA in the state and the nation. He stressed the need for public works to help create and maintain sustainable and livable communities. He also talked about his support of the APWA initiative to enhance leadership and workforce development programs for the public works professionals. Crombie detailed his plans to form a national APWA Emergency Response “think tank.” One of his first nominees to this group will be Billy Nungesser from Plaquemines Parish who achieved national prominence during the recent oil spill disaster. Crombie used the oil spill and other challenges to reinforce the need for APWA to stay strong in the policy discussions affecting infrastructure, environment, and other public works related issues. He appointed Shelby LaSalle of Krebs, LaSalle, and Lemiuex out of Mandeville to head APWA’s Governmental Affairs Committee. LaSalle has been active in both the state and national APWA for years.
cont. on page 6

Decade of Action for road Safety 2011-2020
Each year nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of a road traffic collision—more than 3000 deaths each day—and more than half of these people are not travelling in a car. Twenty to fifty million more people sustain non-fatal injuries from a collision, and these injuries are an important cause of disability worldwide. Ninety percent of road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which claim less than half the world’s registered vehicle fleet. Road traffic injuries are among the three leading causes of death for people between 5 and 44 years of age. Unless immediate and effective action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death in the world, resulting in an estimated 2.4 million deaths each year. This is, in part, a result of rapid increases. The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration has developed a Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 with input from many partners through an extensive consultation process through meetings and the Internet. The Plan provides an overall framework for activities that may take place in the context of the Decade. The categories or “pillars” of activities are: • building road safety management capacity • improving the safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks • further developing the safety of vehicles • enhancing the behavior of road users • improving post-crash care. Indicators have been developed to measure progress in each of these areas. Governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders are invited to make use of the Plan as a guiding document for the events and activities they will support as part of the Decade of Action. To see the plan go to: For more information go to: The new Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) initiative being implemented in the U.S. by road safety stakeholders will support the Decade of Action. Be on the lookout for more about the TZD effort in the near future.


ltAp regional meeting highlights Safety
The Louisiana LTAP hosted a Region VI meeting of the LTAPs from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana in Texarkana, Texas, the first week of January 2011. The meeting allowed the states to share center updates, including new services, products, and classes as well as challenges faced by the local transportation agencies. The first day of the meeting included a “Train the Trainer” workshop of the new safety course, Road Safety 365. The workshop had 19 participants from the region and included representatives from representatives from the Mississippi LTAP. The new one-day Road Safety 365 workshop is designed to help local agencies develop “Extra Eyes for Safety” and to demonstrate how construction, maintenance, and other activities can impact the safety of roadways. The course also provides practical guidance on improving road safety that is specifically geared to local/rural road project development processes. The goal is to encourage local agency personnel including decision makers, road managers, and the “on the ground” staff to make road safety a priority through inclusion in the traditional decision-making and work planning processes—365 days a year. The workshop stresses the importance of road safety and illustrates how it can be integrated into rural/local transportation project development at all stages: planning, design, construction, implementation, operations, and maintenance. Through practical exercises and facilitator-led discussions, the emphasis is on operations and maintenance to reflect the predominant, day-to-day responsibilities of rural/local transportation agencies. The benefits and potential cost savings of safety initiatives are shown using examples from rural/local agencies. Following the workshop, the states met to discuss how to improve the LTAP program and services. A number of state and national Federal Highway Administration personnel were on hand to share the federal perspective and to offer resources. A lively discussion on implementing more aggressive road safety programs in each state was led by Marie Walsh, director of Louisiana LTAP. Louisiana is a national leader in recognizing the local road safety issues and including the local roads in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan implementation efforts. The challenges and barriers to improving local road safety and the roles of LTAP in the state missions were discussed at some length with follow-up activities proposed. Louisiana will be offering the Road Safety 365 workshop in the fall of 2011 as part of ongoing education efforts and to promote the identification of projects for inclusion in the 2012 safety project funding cycle.

Work Zone Safety Awareness Week continued from page 2
zones. Avoid requiring drivers to make sudden lane changes or encounter unexpected conditions. • Pay attention to the traffic. Beware of complacency. • Don’t have your back to traffic. If you must have your back to traffic, use a spotter. Have a communication plan between the spotter and the workers. • Flaggers need to stand on the shoulder and focus on approaching vehicles. Avoid standing in the lane unless visibility is an issue. Once traffic is stopped, flaggers should move back to the shoulder of the road. • Bring more attention to yourself by wearing ANSI Class 3 protective garments - recommended at night or during low-light conditions for added reflectivity. Visit for more information. To set up free work zone training for your local agency work crews or supervisors or for other work zone safety resources, call David McFarland at 225-767-9118. 5

Baton rouge mayor president to Speak at ApWA meeting
The week of May 15 - 21, 2011, is National Public Works Week (NPWW). This year’s theme is Public Works: Serving you and your community. Kip Holden, mayor-president of Baton Rouge, is the scheduled keynote speaker at the annual Baton Rouge chapter of American Public Works Association’s luncheon celebrating public works week. Through NPWW and other efforts, APWA seeks to raise the public’s awareness of public works issues and to increase confidence in public works employees who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for present and future generations. To help you get your celebration off and running, the APWA has created a web based “How-To” guide. In this guide you will find information to develop activities for your organizations celebration. To access this guide, visit letter.asp and follow the steps. Contact LTAP’s Spencer Boatner at 225-767-9717 if you are interested in combining training or an educational event in conjunction with your celebration. LTAP also has Public Week posters for distribution at your request. The American Public Work Association’s NPWW luncheon will be on May 19, 2011, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The event will be at:

White Oak Plantation 17660 George O’Neal Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70817 The fee is $20 per person. Registration will be taken through the APWA site:

APWA Swears in New Officers continued from page 4
Kevin Davis, president of St. Tammany Parish, also attended the meeting and spoke to congratulate his public works director on his election to president. He encouraged the chapter to focus on rebuilding the branches and the chapter. In his acceptance speech, Shannon, no relation to Kevin, remarked that, while he had been with the parish prior to Katrina, he had only recently been appointed as director when Katrina hit. The public works departments in Louisiana have been focused on recovery and now on preparedness, and he acknowledged that his goals as president will include increasing membership and involvement in the chapter. Each of the new branch presidents are also looking to increase members. The new Baton Rouge Branch president is Amy Shulze of East Baton Rouge Public Works. Joseph Becker of the Sewer and Water Board of New Orleans is the New Orleans Branch president and Roy Geoghegan of the city of Mandeville is the new North Shore president. Congratulations to all of the new officers! Find out more information on the Louisiana Chapter at


The Safety Edge: A Pavement Edge Drop-Off Treatment continued from page 1
Edge has been used in the past in Louisiana on LADOTD projects and is now being incorporated routinely on many construction projects where applicable according to guidance from LADOTD’s Chief Engineer, Richard Savoie. How Does It Work? Drivers leave the paved road for many reasons. When steering the tires back onto the pavement, a vertical edge can make it difficult for a driver to safely re-enter the travel lane. Drivers may over-steer and lose control of the vehicle, leading to severe crashes. The challenge is that a drop-off is created during most paving projects. Even when the unpaved shoulder is regraded to eliminate the drop-off, the edge often becomes exposed within a few months. The edge also may deteriorate. The Safety Edge is an effective solution to reduce pavement edge-related crashes, by shaping the edge of the pavement to 30 degrees using a commercially available device (called a shoe) that can be attached to the paver. The asphalt is extruded under the shoe, resulting in a durable edge that resists edge raveling. Research has shown this 30-degree shape allows drivers to re-enter the roadway safely. After paving with the Safety Edge, the adjacent material should be regraded flush with the top of the pavement. This is considered the best practice and provides the safest pavement edge. The difference is that when the edge becomes exposed, this shape can be more safely traversed than a vertical edge. Quick Facts • The Safety Edge can help decrease highway fatalities and serious injuries on our nation’s highways. • Because the Safety Edge provides an additional level of consolidation on the edge, edge raveling is decreased. This contributes to longer pavement life. • The Safety Edge involves minimal time and cost to implement. Typically, less than 1 percent additional asphalt is needed. The Safety Edge shoe, which creates the edge, can be installed on existing equipment. • The Safety Edge also can be installed on Portland cement concrete pavements. (Several differences should be considered. For more information, visit the Safety Edge Web site for details.) • Best practice is to maintain a flush edge, so that no drop-off exists. The Safety Edge reduces the risk of drop-offs when maintenance forces cannot keep up with erosion or tire wear. • Vertical and near vertical pavement edge drop-offs have been a factor in a substantial percentage of severe crashes in which vehicles leave the road, particularly on rural roads with unpaved shoulders. The Safety Edge reduces this problem, providing a safer transition back to the road. • The Safety Edge is a safer design for motorcyclists and bicyclists, as well as motorists. Pavement Edge Drop-Offs Can Contribute to Crashes Roadway departures account for 53 percent of fatal crashes. State-level studies point to the life-saving potential of the Safety Edge. For example, researchers studying crashes in Missouri during 2002-2004 reported that pavement edges may have been a contributing factor in as many as 24 percent of rural run-off-road crashes on paved roadways with unpaved shoulders. This type of crash was twice as likely to include a fatality than rural crashes overall on similar roads.1 When a driver drifts off the roadway and tries to steer back onto the pavement, a vertical pavement edge can create a “tire scrubbing” condition that may result in over-steering. If drivers over-steer to return to the roadway without reducing speed, they are prone to lose control of the vehicle. The resulting crashes tend to be more severe than other crash types. The vehicle may veer into the adjacent lane, where it may collide with oncoming cars; overturn; or run off the opposite side of the roadway and strike a fixed object or overturn on a slope. Inexperienced drivers are not the only victims of tire scrubbing. Smaller, lighter vehicles have a harder time climbing a steep pavement edge. At high speeds, the climb is particularly dangerous. According to in-service evaluations, a vertical or near vertical drop-off of 2.5 inches or greater has been shown to pose a significant risk, while pavements built with the Safety Edge showed reductions of more than 5 percent of total crashes.
1Hallmark et al.: Safety Impacts of Pavement Edge Drop-

Offs, AAA Foundation for Highway Safety, Washington, DC, September 2006. To learn more about Safety Edge: everydaycounts/summit/safetyedge.cfm 7

Need Technical Help? contact ltAp
(225) 767-9117 (800) 595-4722 (in state) (225) 767-9156 (fax)
marie B. Walsh, ph.D., Director David mcFarland, teaching Associate robert Breaux, Administrative coordinator Dean tekell, p.e., p.t.O.e., local road Safety program engineer tom Buckley, p.e., local road Safety program engineer rick holm, p.e., local road Safety program engineer Spencer Boatner, ltAp program manager

Publication Statement technology exchange is published quarterly by the louisiana transportation research center. It is the newsletter of the louisiana local Technical Assistance Program. Any findings, conclusions, or recommendations presented in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of LSU, LADOTD, or FHWA. Newsletter Staff Jenny Speights, public Information Director Jenny gilbert, editor emily Wolfe, publisher the purpose of the local technical Assistance center is to provide technical materials, information, and training to help local government agencies in louisiana maintain and improve their roads and bridges in a cost-effective manner. to accomplish this purpose, we publish a quarterly newsletter; conduct seminars, workshops, and mini-workshops covering various aspects of road and transportation issues; provide a lending library service of audio/visual programs; provide technical assistance through phone and mail-in requests relating to transportation technology; and undertake special projects of interest to municipalities in louisiana. ltAp also coordinates the louisiana local road Safety program.

louisiana local technical Assistance program louisiana transportation research center 4099 gourrier Ave. Baton rouge, lA 70808

pre-Sort Standard U.S. postage pAID permit No. 936 Baton rouge, lA

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful