Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Shauna Hallmark

Second Advisor

Omar Smadi


Prioritizing locations in rural areas has been a major concern to various transportation agencies due to the wide-spread nature of crashes on rural roadways. A systemic (more proactive) approach is required to rank sites in this case since the traditional "hot spot" method only considers crash data. The thesis was based on a prioritization project funded by Mid-America Transportation Center (MATC). Several systemic safety methodologies were explored and summarized in the report. However, one technique was selected, i.e. Minnesota CRSP approach, on the basis of a decision-making matrix that included five factors. The selected technique was applied on secondary paved rural roadways in Buchanan and Dallas counties in Iowa. Data was collected along 197 miles in Buchanan County and 156 miles in Dallas County. Initial prioritized ranking lists were generated for the three transportation elements (horizontal curves, stop-controlled intersections and rural segments) that were identified in the Minnesota CRSP approach. The tool was then evaluated to determine if a change in the weight/coefficient of risk factors in each transportation element would have a statistical impact on the prioritized list. Three different sensitivity analysis approaches were designed and tested. Results showed no statistical significance in the shift of rankings for all cases. A "top 20" analyses was then conducted to evaluate the number of sites that shifted from the prioritization lists compared to the initial ranking. A maximum of 50 percent shift was recorded for rural horizontal curves in Dallas County when the third sensitivity analysis approach was applied.


Copyright Owner

Georges Elias Bou Saab



File Format


File Size

110 pages