Improving design standards for passing lanes on rural highways in Queensland

Mear, Benjamin (2016) Improving design standards for passing lanes on rural highways in Queensland. [USQ Project]

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Vehicles traveling at consistently slower speeds are a common occurrence on Queensland’s regional highways and as a consequence this leads to problematic queuing congestion. Reducing congestion on regional highways can be achieved through the implementation of auxiliary overtaking lanes. The leading problem of overtaking lane placement occurs when heavy vehicles need to overtake slower vehicles, as heavy vehicles require a longer amount of road. Overtaking lanes located on upgrades makes it near impossible for heavy vehicles to overtake safely, thus heavy vehicles still remain behind the slower vehicles causing congestion to occur. The purpose of this project was to design overtaking lanes for heavy vehicles to overtake slower vehicles and then compare these designs to current standards and selected highway’s overtaking lanes.

Methodology of this report was to thoroughly analyse crash data to then determine which three highways within Queensland had the highest crash rates of overtaking related crashes. High crash prone sections were then found through further analysis of crash data from selected highways. Heavy vehicle designed overtaking lanes were determined and then compared with overtaking lanes located within the selected crash prone highway sections.

Results showed the New England, Bruce and Warrego Highways were identified as having the highest overtaking related crash rates within Queensland. Crash data results displayed that heavy vehicles were involved in at least 50 percent of overtaking related crashes within the chosen crash prone highway sections. Results indicated that heavy vehicle designed overtaking lanes were found to be considerably longer than current design standard lengths.

Findings showed that the highway with the most amount of crashes did not always achieve the highest crash rate. Lastly findings suggest that current design standards are inadequate for providing a safe option for heavy vehicles to overtake slower vehicles. This project raised results that if overtaking lanes were designed to accommodate for heavy vehicles this would help to reduce amount of overtaking related crashes and would provide better opportunities to break up congestion an increase the service limit of a section of road. Results achieved within this project could be viewed upon by state road authorities to review their current design standards for overtaking lanes.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major Civil Engineering project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Somasundaraswaran, Soma
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 01:40
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2017 01:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: design standards; passing lanes; rural highways; Queensland
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090502 Construction Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400504 Construction engineering

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