Research Portal

July 1, 2022

The Practice of Roadway Safety Management in Public-Private Partnerships

Aziz, Ahmed M. Abdel. (2021). The Practice of Roadway Safety Management in Public-Private Partnerships. Journal Of Construction Engineering And Management, 147(12).

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As a matter of course, the private party in public-private partnerships (PPPs) assumes the responsibility for roadway safety management (RSM). However, because most PPPs are performance-based, public highway agencies must articulate the specifications and methods they develop to enforce RSM practices. Despite the increased interest in PPPs in recent decades, little has been published on developing and propagating the RSM practices used with this delivery system. To fill this research gap and explore RSM practices in PPPs, this work took a synthesis research approach, using content analysis to critically review and analyze 16 PPP agreements in seven states and provinces leading in PPP contracting in North America. The study discovered several methods and organized them under five mechanisms: Mechanism 1, integrating roadway safety into project performance specifications and initiating new tools such as safety compliance orders; Mechanism 2, imposing nonconformance monetary deductions based on point and classification systems; Mechanism 3, regulating safety payments on the basis of crash statistics; Mechanism 4, promoting safety initiative programs; and Mechanism 5, enforcing administrative countermeasures such as work suspension and default/termination triggers for persistent developer noncompliance. Mechanisms 1 and 5 were the default mechanisms in all toll- and availability-based projects, whereas Mechanism 2 was common in availability-only projects. The research reviewed the RSM packages in the PPP agreements, elucidating the particulars of the RSM mechanisms, highlighting RSM design considerations, presenting implementation guidelines, and articulating research needs. The research results were validated against PPP highways in five other states and provinces. This synthesis research provides highway agencies with an extensive practice review to support RSM package design for future PPP projects.


Qualitative Research; Incentives; Public-private Partnerships (ppps); Performance Specifications; Roadway Safety; Payment Mechanisms; Availability Payment; Highways