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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
FHWA Highway Safety Programs

Executive Summary

The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a core Federal-aid program with the purpose to achieve a significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, Congress authorized approximately $2.4 billion per year for States to achieve this goal through the implementation of highway safety improvement projects, which is nearly double the amount that was authorized under the previous legislative act. The States not only met this challenge, but far exceeded it obligating nearly $3.9 billion for over 4,100 highway safety improvement projects in 2015.

These highway safety improvement projects come in all shapes and sizes. Some HSIP projects are much bigger in scope than others, while other projects include countermeasure installations across multiple sites. The 2015 HSIP National Summary Report provides an aggregate summary of the type and cost of projects across all States. Highlights of the States' 2015 HSIP implementation efforts are provided below.

  • A majority (roughly two-thirds) of HSIP projects cost less than $500,000 each, with 35 percent of all projects costing less than $100,000.
  • About 20 percent of HSIP projects would be considered high cost, coming in at over $1 million each. These projects often include widening shoulders, adding auxiliary lanes, installing cable barrier, installing rumble strips, or modifying traffic signals.
  • Projects associated with a functional class were most often categorized as rural major collector or other urban principal arterial.
  • Projects on urban principal arterial interstates had the highest average total cost per project of $3.01 million, whereas projects on rural local roads or streets had the lowest average total cost per project of $330,000.
  • There are fewer urban projects than rural projects but the average total cost per project of the urban projects is greater than the average total cost per project of the rural projects.
  • About 70 percent of highway safety improvement projects occur on roads owned by the State Highway Agency.
  • Projects on roads owned by State Highway Agencies had the third highest average total cost per project of approximately $1.1 million, while projects on roads owned by County Highway Agencies cost just over $400,000 on average.
  • A majority (70%) of highway safety improvement projects falls into the following categories: roadway, intersection traffic control, intersection geometry, roadside and shoulder treatments.
  • Interchange design, animal-related, and advanced technology and ITS have the highest average cost per project; whereas roadway signs and traffic control, speed management, and work zones have the lowest average cost per project.
  • States use HSIP funds to address the predominant infrastructure-related crash types – roadway departure, intersection, and pedestrian crashes.

The number and cost of HSIP projects has continued to increase from 1,684 projects with a total cost of $1.61B in 2009 to 4,188 projects with a total cost of $3.90B in 2015. Over the past seven years, States obligated $16.6 billion for more than 19,000 highway safety improvement projects.