Return to Projects List

[NTC2014-SU-R-11] Impact of Freight Movement Trends on Highway Pavement Infrastructure


The objective of this research project is to investigate the impacts of national freight traffic trends and projections on the pavement infrastructure. The outcome will be a map of the major transportation corridors that identifies critical locations where projected freight trends may have the strongest negative impact on the transportation infrastructure. The proposed work is limited in scope to the pavement performance, but may provide insight into other parts of the transportation infrastructure. This proposed research directly addresses the freight efficiency and reliability focus of the transportation center. Freight mobility has traditionally been investigated in terms of congestion, but in this study the impact of changes in freight movement on the pavement infrastructure will be investigated. The findings from this study will add another dimension to the discussion of freight efficiency and reliability and inform public policies and infrastructure investment decisions. It will provide both a “current state” analysis as well as establish a framework for future studies that may incorporate alternative or novel geometric design strategies or new materials technologies. This framework could also be used to provide a more accurate assessment of the impacts of freight movement strategies (e.g., rail versus highway at national, regional, and local scales) and better link ports, rail, and highway systems.