Dedicated truck facilities as a solution to capacity and safety issues on rural interstate highway corridors

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2006-01-01
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Burke, Neil
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This thesis identifies the safety and operational benefits to constructing dedicated truck facilities on rural interstate corridors. The Interstate 80 corridor from the Illinois border to Altoona, Iowa is the case study corridor where crash data and commodity flows were analyzed to determine the potential benefits to constructing a dedicated truck facility. Literature was reviewed to determine the designs of other truck only facilities and the benefits that dedicated truck lanes may bring to the freight industry. The literature found truck only lanes to be most feasible when trucks constitute at least 30 percent of the vehicle mix, peak hour volumes exceed 1,800 vehicles per lane hour, and off-peak volumes exceed 1,200 vehicles per lane hour. Another study found the I-80 corridor in Iowa provided significant benefits to the operability and safety of the corridor if a dedicated truck facility is constructed along the corridor. While most studies have considered the construction of an additional lane on the freeways and designating it for "trucks only," this thesis considers the construction of a separate four lane, limited access facility for trucks. The 1-80 corridor was analyzed with the Highway Economic Requirements Software-State edition (HERS-ST) to measure the performance before and after trucks was removed from the mainline. Several benefit to cost analyses was calculated outside of HERS-ST to determine the feasibility of constructing dedicated truck lanes. Sensitivity analyses were conducted within the benefit to cost analyses to determine the benefits of diverting 100 percent, 75 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent of trucks to a dedicated truck facility. Through this analysis, transportation engineers and planners can understand the benefits of dedicated truck facilities on rural interstate highway corridors.

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Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2006