Highway Safety Improvement Program Implementation Process

The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a core Federal-aid program aimed at reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. This includes all State-owned and non-State-owned public roads. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) currently receives approximately $25.9 million of HSIP apportionments on an annual basis. This includes a $2 million set-aside for the HSIP-Secondary Program and an additional $15 million that is allocated for safety projects, with the remaining funds being made available through program modifications. Projects on the Primary Road System are largely driven by the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, with specific emphasis on reducing lane departure and intersection crashes. On both the Primary and Second Road Systems, funding is oriented primarily toward systemic, low-cost safety treatments. Consistent with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, HSIP funds are designated to be used for projects that are consistent with the State's strategic highway safety plan (SHSP). Further, the FAST Act requires that such projects improve a hazardous road location/feature or address a highway safety problem. In contrast to prior legislation, the FAST Act also limits HSIP eligibility to only those projects listed in statute, most of which are infrastructure-safety related. The HSIP also requires that States utilize a data-driven, strategic approach when allocating funds for specific projects. Continuing on this point, the Iowa HSIP 2015 Annual Report notes, "Iowa is interested in modifying how HSIP funds are sub-allocated within the state, and how projects are selected". To this end, a multi-state peer review was held in early 2015 to evaluate Iowa's current HSIP structure and present possible modifications. Based on this review, a goal was established to have a new structure in place for FY 2018 project selections that would provide a method for distribution of funds to local roads, as well as to DOT districts. In support of this initiative, $600,000 of HSIP funds were utilized to develop local road safety plans (LRSPs) for 12 counties from across the state of Iowa. There are 17 additional LRSPs currently under development and, ultimately, the long-term goal is to develop similar plans for all 99 counties. In addition to these efforts, District Road Safety Plans (DSRPs) are also currently under development and scheduled for completion in 2016. These plans will play a key role in selection and programming of HSIP projects moving forward. In addition, a recent HSIP Scanning Tour was conducted, which highlighted best practices across seven states (AK, IL, MA, NH, NC, OR, UT), providing important insights to guide Iowa's HSIP. Collectively, the results of the aforementioned efforts provide motivation for the development of processes that guide the allocation of HSIP funds by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). To this end, this project has two primary objectives: (1) to develop an interim process and strategic plan for spending down the HSIP balance from FY 2017 through FY 2020; and (2) to develop an HSIP Guidebook, which will outline a framework for the selection, implementation, and evaluation of the HSIP by the Iowa DOT over the long term.


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    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $150000
    • Contract Numbers:

      Addendum 569

      ISU Proposal 134967

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Iowa Department of Transportation

      800 Lincoln Way
      Ames, IA  United States  50010
    • Managing Organizations:

      Iowa Department of Transportation

      800 Lincoln Way
      Ames, IA  United States  50010
    • Project Managers:

      Laaser-Webb, Jan

    • Performing Organizations:

      Iowa State University, Ames

      Institute for Transportation
      2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
      Ames, Iowa  United States  50010-8664
    • Principal Investigators:

      Savolainen, Peter

      Hawkins, Neal

    • Start Date: 20160401
    • Expected Completion Date: 20171231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01596052
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: Addendum 569, ISU Proposal 134967
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Apr 18 2016 10:11AM