Infrastructure Costs Attributable to Commercial Vehicles

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CAIT project no.: FHWA NJ 2001 030

Fiscal Year: 2000/2001

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Maria Boile, Kaan Ozbay, Preethi Narayanan

External Author(s): Edward S. Kondrath

Sponsor(s): NJ Transit


This report pertains to a comprehensive study on infrastructure costs attributable to heavy vehicles. This study has two primary objectives. The first is to review pertinent literature and determine the availability of methods for allocating roadway maintenance costs to different types of vehicle classes. The second objective is to determine the existence and availability of methodologies to estimate the impact of different types of buses on highway infrastructure. Two broad areas of highway impact related literature have been reviewed. The first one, namely highway cost allocation studies, deals primarily with the first objective, of estimating highway related costs attributable to heavy vehicles. The second area deals with the development of models to estimate pavement deterioration as a result of vehicle-pavement interactions. A federal, and several state highway cost allocation studies have been reviewed. These studies vary in their data requirements, ease of use and update, and output detail, which are parameters that need to be considered in selecting the most appropriate method for New Jersey applications. A cost allocation study has not been performed for the state of New Jersey. Performing such a study, however, would be highly recommended, since it helps develop a clear picture of the cost responsibility of each vehicle class and decide whether changes need to be made in order to charge each vehicle class its fair share of cost responsibility. A thorough consideration should be given to New Jersey specific conditions and requirements prior to developing a state highway cost allocation model. Whether a simplified or a more detailed approach is used, high levels of data accuracy and state specific conditions will help increase the accuracy of model results. In that sense, a simplified approach well tailored to New Jersey conditions is expected to produce more accurate results, compared to a more detailed approach, based on default data. The first part of the study provided very limited information on the impact of different types of buses on highways. After a thorough literature search and contacts with state DOTs and local authorities only two studies were found to deal explicitly with the impact of buses on pavements. Based on these studies and a review of data availability in New Jersey, a proposed method has been developed. A step-by-step guide on how to apply this method along with data requirements is given in this report.