For six types of intersection collision warning scenarios, the cost of the design, equipment, and installation ranged from $47,230 to $73,320 per intersection.

September 2003
United States

Summary Information

The Federal Highway Administration Safety Office sponsored a project to define, evaluate, and test the feasibility of infrastructure-only Intersection Collision Avoidance System (ICAS) concepts at high crash intersections within the Infrastructure Consortium (IC) states: Minnesota, California, and Virginia. Two sites from each state were selected as candidates for implementing advanced intelligent countermeasures.

An ICAS solution must be feasible as well as cost-effective. It is expected that the societal benefit, in terms of a reduction in crashes, should outweigh the ICAS’s implementation, operation, and maintenance costs over its lifetime. As part of the project, the number of years to recoup investments for the six candidate intersections was calculated. The ICAS service life was assumed to be 20 years. With a 100 percent effectiveness rating, the years required to recoup investment costs ranged from 0.02 to 4.62. With a 50 percent effectiveness rating, the years to recoup investment costs ranged from 0.04 to 9.24; however, five of the six intersections showed minimal years required to recoup the investment.

In general, the investment associated with an ICAS solution involves design costs, capital costs, and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. Data collection is conducted first, followed by the design of the system. Then the system undergoes human-factors testing to determine the type of warning, if any is necessary. The final step is the installation of hardware and software components. Once installed, the system incurs regular operations and maintenance (O&M) over its life span, typically about 20 years. The following provides estimates of design, capital costs, and systems costs, including the items involved in each type.

Design Costs

The table below excerpted from the source report shows the typical design items and the associated costs for an ICAS solution for one site (intersection).

Data Collection
Analysis and System Design
Human Factors Testing
Software Design
Total Costs

Capital Costs

The capital costs typically involve one-time purchases of the hardware used at an intersection, which may include loop detectors (or alternate means of detection), warning displays, and communication lines. The table below excerpted from the source report shows the cost estimates of these items including the cost of installation for one site.

Traffic controller with installation
LED Variable Message Sign (VMS) with installation
Red Signal head with Barlo strobe light with installation
Four loops with installation
Per mile communication line includes design and installation of conduit,
boring/trenching of conduit and installation of twisted pair wire

System Costs

The table below excerpted from the source report shows the total costs of ICAS implementation that combines the design costs and the capital costs for six types of ICAS solutions.

Intersection Collision Warning for Left Turn Across Path/Opposite Direction
VMS. Loop defectors, 0.25 mile communication wiring
Intersection Collision Warning for Left Turn Across Path/Lateral Direction
VMS. Loop detectors, controller, 0.25 mile communication wiring
Extended All-Red
Loop detectors, 0.5 mile communication wiring
Cross Traffic Warning
VMS, loop detectors, 0.5 mile communication wiring
Violator Warning
Strove light, loop detectors, 0.25 mile communication wiring
Left Turn Phase Offset
Loop detectors. 0.25 mile communication wiring

As shown in the table above, the components of an ICAS solution would vary in accordance with the site conditions at an intersection, so would the costs, ranging from $47,230 to $73,320 per site. For each solution studied, design costs totaled $19,980 and included data collection, analysis and system design, human factors testing, and software design. The remaining expenditure was for capital costs that included the equipment (e.g., dynamic message signs, loop detectors, controllers), communication lines, and installation.

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Intersection Collision Avoidance Study

Author: Battelle

Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Office of Safety

Source Date: September 2003

EDL Number: 14105

Other Reference Number: FHWA-JPO-05-030

System Cost

System costs: $47,230 to $73,320.


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Cost ID: 2008-00138