Old US-40 High Risk Rural Road Safety Assessment

After contracting with Ellis County, BG Consultants developed a road safety assessment for a section of Old US Highway 40 in Ellis County. Data collected included daily traffic counts, existing construction plans, crash records, county right-of-way information, and aerial photography of the corridor.

BG Consultants conducted a field assessment of the corridor with the Public Works Department Staff and personnel from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department. BG’s assessment began in daylight hours with a study of intersection approaches. Field data was collected to verify pavement widths and approximate foreslopes and backslopes. BG team members then drove the corridor at dusk to assess low-light conditions and again at night to assess no-light conditions and identify potential safety issues. Roadway features that did not conform to the current design standards were identified, and BG made suggestions for safety improvements.

Specific evaluated features included:

  • Horizontal and vertical curves and superelevation
  • Design speed versus safe operating speed for the geometric conditions
  • Sight distance
  • Pavement marking and traffic signing scheme
  • Pavement widths
  • Edge drop-offs and shoulder treatments
  • Obstructions, including drainage structures, located with the clear zone
  • Guard fence
  • Locations of non-recoverable foreslopes in the ditches


Ellis County, Kansas