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Title:Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Snow Fences in Illinois: Phase 2
Author(s):Qi, Yan; Fries, Ryan N.; Saran Baral, Shambhu; Biswas, Pranesh
Subject(s):Living Snow Fence
Structural Snow Fence
Standing Corn Rows
Survey
Crash Modification Factor
Benefit-Cost Analysis
Abstract:Serving as a windbreak, properly sited and designed snow fences have been proven effective in mitigating the negative impacts of blowing snow. To achieve the best snow-control effects, the ideal locations for snow fences are usually outside the roadway right-of-way. Few efforts have been made to examine the economic efficiency of snow fences and explore ways to reward private landowners. The objective of this project was to develop methodologies for evaluation of the costs and benefits of snow fences in Illinois and identify ways to encourage private landowners’ participation in the snow fence program while keeping it cost-effective. The researchers conducted a literature review as well as agency and landowner surveys. They also acquired crash data, snow fence and blowing snow segment inventory data, and blowing snow removal expenditure data as well as performed benefit-cost analyses of three types of snow fences following Federal Highway Administration guides. The survey results suggested that standing corn rows (SCRs) and structural snow fences (SSFs) were the least intrusive options for landowners and living snow fences (LSFs) with trees were the most intrusive. Some concerns related to LSFs could be reduced by allowing landowners to play a role in the design and plant-selection process. The crash data indicated that no fatal and severe crashes occurred at snow fence segments, while several fatal and severe crashes occurred at blowing snow segments during 2012–2016. The results of the benefit-cost analyses showed that the benefit-cost ratios for LSFs and SSFs are comparable. However, LSFs are favorable over SSFs because little maintenance is needed after the plants are mature. Although SCRs have the highest benefit-cost ratio, the need to renew the agency-landowner agreement annually and the alternating of crops planted may limit their snow-control effectiveness and large-scale implementation. A tool was developed using MS Excel to facilitate the benefit-cost analysis of snow fences.
Issue Date:2020-11
Publisher:Illinois Center for Transportation/Illinois Department of Transportation
Citation Info:Qi, Yan, Ryan N. Fries, Shambhu Saran Baral, and Pranesh Biswas. 2020. Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Snow Fences in Illinois: Phase 2. A report of the findings of ICT-R27-191. Illinois Center for Transportation Series No. 20-020. Research Report No. FHWA-ICT-20-013. Illinois Center for Transportation, Rantoul, IL. https://doi.org/10.36501/0197-9191/20-020
Series/Report:FHWA-ICT-20-013
Genre:Technical Report
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108922
ISSN:0197-9191
DOI:https://doi.org/10.36501/0197-9191/20-020
Sponsor:IDOT-ICT-191
Rights Information:No restrictions. This document is available through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-11-06


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