Traffic Safety Improvements at Low Water Crossings

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), there were 38 flood deaths in Texas in 2016. Studies suggest that of all flood victims, between 60 and 75 percent are motorists that became victim of road flooding. Texas consistently leads the nation in flood deaths and the majority of those deaths are in vehicles. Many accidents, rescues, and deaths occur at low water crossings, and most occur at night. While it may be impractical to raise or remove all low water crossings across the state, there are low-cost means to better alert the driving public to the risks of low water crossings. Installing permanent signs or gates can be costly and difficult to maintain. Placing temporary signs and barricades requires significant field crew effort and they cannot be everywhere at once. Research is needed to indicate whether there can be improved driver awareness, thus improved driver safety, by installing reflective pavement markings, striping, or sensors as effective warning devices at low water crossings. The objectives of this research project are: (1) investigate each TxDOT Area Office's current inventory and management approach of low water crossings; (2) survey other state DOTs, AASHTO, FHWA, and other agencies on low water crossing management techniques; (3) determine which reflective pavement markings and striping can show the most contrast when submerged/not submerged in water; (4) evaluate flood sensor and flood warning devices for roadways, and assess their cost/benefit in both high- and low-volume traffic settings; (5) test Infrastructure-to-Infrastructure (I2I) and Infrastructure-to-Vehicle (I2V) technologies; and (6) conduct developmental testing to verify the accuracy of the water level sensors and the functionality of the developed and applied technologies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $445069
  • Contract Numbers:

    0-6992 [2021]

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Glancy, Chris

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Dobrovolny, Chiara

  • Start Date: 20180901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200831
  • Actual Completion Date: 20210131

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690738
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6992 [2021]
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 10 2019 11:21AM