Safety Edge is a pavement edge treatment for new or repaving projects that taper the edge making roadways recoverable in the event of a run-off-road crash. Most fatal & serious injury crashes occur on rural roadways, a majority of which are owned by local jurisdictions. Providing a quick, easy way for local agencies to implement Safety Edge into paving projects will not only reduce construction costs, but also in the long run help save many lives, which is a big societal cost.
Recent FHWA bids compared with contractor bids per Safety Edge Device Units show approximate $1,000 savings. If a Federal-Aid project is funding a pavement project in which a contractor is required to purchase a Safety Edge Shoe Device, they would pass this cost on to FHWA. However, if FHWA provided the actual Device to the Local Agency, the cost savings would be realized.
Providing brief, hands-on-the-job training to inspectors and contractors along with an actual Safety Edge Device, ensures a quality Safety Edge product, coupled with understanding that the installation is done correctly and safely. Training programs already exist, minimizing start-up costs. Training is provided by LTAP and FHWA personnel at no charge to local agencies.
One of the biggest cost savings to local agencies is cutting out the “middle man”. Many agencies know that federal contract requirements for procurement requires compliance with time-consuming Federal Regulations that many local agencies are not used to adhering to, nor have the staff or time to be knowledgeable about. Providing Safety Edge Shoe Devices, if already procured by FHWA through the promotion of Administrator Mendez’s existing Every Day Counts Initiative, could fast-track the availability of the treatment for local agencies so they can implement Safety Edge into projects already slated for construction in up to 1 month. The economy and efficiency of implementing this innovative technology would be amazing! And ultimately save more lives.