Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

Work Zone Safety | HSIP Application/Procedure update | Traffic Engineering memoranda | MUTCD and Virginia Supplement

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) was passed into law July 2012 to authorize the federal fiscal years 2013 and 14 surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit .  MAP-21 continues the core HSIP, administered by FHWA, structured and funded to make significant progress in reducing highway fatalities and severe injuries on all public roads.

VDOT previously developed a HSIP that involved the identification of high-crash spots or corridor segments, an analysis of crash trends and existing conditions, an economic evaluation of safety project benefits and the statewide prioritization and scheduling of improvement projects. Updates to the program, process and reporting are now needed to comply with MAP-21

Information on all of MAP-21 FHWA programs is available at:


Information on the MAP-21 HSIP elements is available at:


Additional information will be added as the FHWA provides federal regulations on the implementation of the new HSIP requirements.

VDOT’s HSIP previously consisted of the following programs: 

  • Highway Safety Program (HSP)
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program (BPSP)
  • Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Program (H-RGCP)

Note that High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) set aside may be funded by MAP-21 if the crash death rate is increasing for the last two years.

New HSIP project planning and development processes for each program are being developed in consultation with FHWA given the MAP-21 guidelines, final rulings (policy) and funding provided.  As such, adding safety projects to Virignia’s SYIP and STIP will only be considered on a case by case basis until new HSIP guidelines are vetted.  

The procedures and process for Highway-Rail Grade Crossing projects are not expected to be changed substantially.  Therefore, rail safety improvement projects may be proposed through December 31st, 2012. Additional rail safety project proposal information is provided below.

HSIP Projects for Fiscal Year 2013

A list of HSP,  BPS and HRRR projects added to the Virginia transportation Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) for Virginia’s Fiscal Year 2013-18 is available in an Excel spreadsheet from HSIP staff upon request.  

See below on searching the Six-Year Plan to determine funds allocated to HSIP projects. 

Contact your VDOT District Preliminary Engineering manager and/or the Planning and Investment Management office to determine steps to initiate these new projects.

During project delivery, if the cost increases more than 10 percent of the original estimate over the programmed total estimate, a new benefit-cost (B/C) ratio calculation must be submitted to determine if the project remains eligible for additional HSIP funding. 

Should the project B/C become less than 1.0 at any time, the project will not qualify for additional HSIP funds.

If the cost increase is greater than 10 percent, the safety partner may be required to cover the additional cost with an alternate funding source or reduce the scope of the project. If neither of these options is feasible, the project may be dropped from the HSIP.

Active HSIP Projects

Active and ongoing HSIP projects are listed in the annual SYIP at: http://syip.virginiadot.org/

You may generate and download a listing for your area of interest, for example district or jurisdiction, by first filtering on Fund = .Highway Safety Improvement; .High risk Rural; and .Rail highway Crossing (note first character is a dot [.] before each program name).  Next the district or jurisdiction columns may be sorted and the file exported to a XLS file.

VDOT staff has additional resources for finding and tracking HSIP projects.  Contact the HSIP staff for guidance on active projects.

Proposing HSIP Projects

HSIP staff is presently waiting on the amount of the expected additional HSIP funding from MAP-21.  During this time, the HSIP policies, guidelines, and procedures are being rewritten to be aligned with the MAP-21 provisions and new Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan.  Changes are expected to account for new eligible projects for motorized and non-motorized crashes and risks.  Further required performance measure development and reporting at multiple levels are to be determined when guidance is issues. Updates to the HSIP process and required submissions for funding proposed projects will be added to this web page.

Approximately $4.5 Million Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety funds are expected for FY2014.  Proposals for highway-rail grade crossing funds will be accepted and reviewed for programming with submissions due by December 31, 2012.  The links below provide the project submittal form and listing of the regional ranking of crossing risk.  

However, our safety partners should continue to prepare the required engineering studies, sketches, cost estimates, schedules and economic analysis to submit for future project consideration. 

Note that additional information, analysis and improvement documentation may be requested during the review of the proposals.  

Cost Participation

VDOT HSIP anticipates providing the 10-percent local match for safety projects funded with by MAP-21.

However, the safety partner should be willing and able to supply the local match should the state funding be unavailable.

If the final project cost is higher than what was originally submitted, the project manager and sponsor will be responsible for identifying sources for funding over those estimates.

Submission Requirements

A summary of the submission requirements for proposed HSIP improvement projects are expected remain:

Highway Safety Program[1] Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program Highway- Rail Grade Crossing Safety Program

Written description, purpose and need in forms provided.

Detailed sketch/aerial photo(s) showing roadway and traffic control device improvement changes

Detailed costs of improvements by phase

Professional engineer signed safety study of new highway or traffic control device elements


Benefit/Cost Excel sheet

Professional engineer- signed safety assessment study of new highway or traffic control device elements


Related studies and support documents

Professional engineer-signed safety assessment study of new highway or traffic control device elements


Related studies and support documents

Crash Report (FR300) document numbers or paper copies for related crashes[2]

Turning movement counts for intersection improvements (short periods acceptable) Pedestrian counts are preferred n/a

Gap studies for new crossings

(see ITE Manual of Transportation Studies)



[1] HRRR is a set aside of HSP to be used on functional classes below rural major collectors and thus requires the same B/C analysis. Analysis of the associated fatality rate must be completed to determine future allocations.
[2] BPS and HRGC Proposal Safety Studies may be submitted based on risk and/or crash reduction.  If crashes involving non-motorized users or trains have occurred, then the documented crash reports should be submitted.


HSP Proposed Safety Improvements Form

For HSP-proposed improvements, the project description and the B/C spreadsheet are combined into one Excel spreadsheet form to facilitate the electronic transmission of the submitted study. 

 The proposed safety improvement spreadsheet is to be used for both highway intersection and section projects. 

Note the calculated benefit to cost ratio (B/C) is only used to assess the eligibility of a proposed improvement for HSP funding. 

Improvements that provide expected crash reductions resulting in a B/C greater than 1.0 are eligible for HSIP funding. However, a high B/C does not guarantee funding. 

Other factors such as the total targeted severe crashes, validity of improvement countermeasure, project cost and the time frame to complete the project are also considered to prioritize the eligible improvements.

Do not email other large electronic documents with supporting information. Send copies of large documents via U.S. Mail with the signed proposed safety improvement form and the signed and sealed engineering study or RSA.

Proposed Safety Improvement Forms

Highway Safety Program (HSP) 

Bike and Pedestrian Safety Program (BPS)

Non-motorized transportation safety is improved by reducing risk from exposure to motorized vehicles in time and space on the highway network. 

To help localities identify and prioritize locations for improvement, a recent report was prepared by the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation & Research. Review the report Framework for Selection and Evaluation of Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Projects in Virginia to determine best practices for targeting safety resources for these vulnerable highway users.

Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Program (H-RGCP)

The public-at-grade crossing ranked risk listing is provided for each VDOT operations region. A separate tab is provided for each region. If you need assistance interpreting fields contained in the crossing listing or need information on existing projects, please contact please contact Mike Wray (see below).

FY2013-14 HRGCP Risk Listing

Crossing surface improvement proposals should only be submitted for safety related needs such as track misalignment, timbers moving or pumping under traffic movements, vertical clearance issues, drainage issues on railroad right-of-way causing premature surface failure. Safety funds cannot be utilized specifically for aesthetics or ride quality. In addition, crossing surface safety proposals can only be submitted after the railroad involved has been contacted and concurs. In the past, several rail safety funded surface improvement projects have been cancelled because the railroad’s planned surface maintenance schedule is already underway and completed before we have Commonwealth Transportation Board approval or federal requirements are met to complete the safety projects. Obviously, these funds could have been used for more pressing safety needs. Please contact Mike Wray before submitting your proposal(s) so that the railroad company / crossing owner may be contacted to inquire about surface maintenance schedules in your area.  

Rail projects may be proposed using the cost estimate provided on the submittal form.  

Proposed Safety Improvement Submittals and Contacts for information 

Submit questions a to HSIProgram@VirginiaDOT.org

HSIP staff is also available to discuss your proposed safety analysis, roadway safety assessments and project proposals.

Stephen Read, P.E.
Tracy Turpin, P.E.
Michael Wray, H-RGC program:

Traffic Engineering Division
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Fax: 804-225-2448


Page last modified: Nov. 27, 2012