In 2019, the concessionary Libramiento Elevado de Puebla S.A. de C.V. contracted the company SEMIC (an iRAP accredited supplier) to carry out a road safety assessment using iRAP methodology on the Puebla High Bypass. Due to the importance of this stretch of road in Mexico, it sought a ‘Safe highway’ certification to ensure high levels of road safety to users during their journey.

The road safety assessment with the iRAP methodology of the Puebla Elevated Beltway consisted of two stages. The first stage, completed in July 2019, corresponded to the assessment of the infrastructure in its original state (before implementing recommended countermeasures).

The second stage was a replicated road safety assessment on the same section of road after the implementation of countermeasures recommended as part of the iRAP Safer Roads Investment Plan (SRIP). The SRIP included a prioritised list of recommended cost-effective countermeasures to improve Star Ratings and reduce infrastructure related-risk.

Based on these recommendations, Libramiento Elevado de Puebla S.A de C.V (part of the Aleatica and Pinfra Group) spent approximately MXN$1 million on two upgrade treatments across 30 km or road – roadside barriers and shoulder rumble strips (also known as warning strips or road exit alerts).

As a result, in June 2020 a comparison of the star ratings before and after countermeasures were implemented with 80% of the road length now achieving a 4-star standard (up from 20% prior to the upgrades) and the entire road length 3-star or better. 

The table below indicates the star ratings undertaken before and after the investment upgrades (between stage 1 and 2).

                                         Before                                                                                      After

Furthermore, 100% of the total length of the road was found to be rating 3 star or better for vehicle occupants. The analysis found that for motorcyclists, there is room for improvement with just 61% rated 3-star. Pedestrians and cyclists are restricted from using the road so there was no star rating for these types of users.

Further recommendations were made to help improve the infrastructure safety for all road users.

According to iRAP’s Big Data tool, achieving >75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users in Mexico by 2030 stands to save 5,591 lives each year and more than 1,230,022 fatalities and serious injuries over 20 years, with an economic benefit of just over USD$190 billion. To explore the human and economic impact of road crashes in Mexico, the safety of its roads and the road attributes that matter, visit https://www.vaccinesforroads.org/irap-big-data-tool/.

Image Credits (top and above): SEMIC

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