Rehabilitation of railway-highway at-grade crossings: Recommendations and guides

Brett R. Malloy, Jerry G. Rose, Reginald R. Souleyrette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Railway-highway at-grade crossing surface management involves selecting the most cost-effective rehabilitation technique that will provide safe, smooth, high-performance, long-life, serviceable crossings for highway vehicles and pedestrians. This paper offers step-by-step guidance to see a project from its preproject planning stage, through its implementation and rehabilitation activities, and on to postconstruction management. Preproject administration entails (a) reviewing historical accident and maintenance cost data for the crossing, (b) determining the optimal rehabilitation method using an intuitive decision option diagram, (c) categorizing and separating major work and cost items, (d) calculating unit costs for the major work and cost items, (e) evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various alternatives, and ( f ) selecting a design that meets applicable criteria for the governmental agency. Rehabilitation activities include executing the design according to the chosen specifications. Depending on the outcome of preproject administration, this process may simply involve adjusting and improving the highway pavement approaches, which does not impinge on the other aspects of the crossing. If only the crossing surface has deteriorated, removing and replacing the crossing surface material may be necessary. However, if it is obvious that the crossing's structural support is insufficient for the loadings, removing and replacing the structural sublayers, track, and crossing surface will be required. Postproject administration occurs after the project's completion. This phase begins with postinstallation inspection, which can uncover most problems. With this guidance, a public agency or railroad is more likely to be assured of obtaining a safe, smooth, cost-effective, economical crossing with long service life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet through the Kentucky Transportation Center, University of Kentucky, and by the National University Rail Center, a U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Tier 1 University Transportation Center.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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