Skip Navigation

Mid-America Transportation Center

Estimating Highway Pavement Damage Costs Attributed to Truck Traffic

Final Report

click to download report

project report

Presentation Link

click to view presentation

presentation report

Webinar Video

click to play

Webinar Video


University of Kansas

Transportation Systems Engineering


  • Principal Investigator: Yong Bai ( (785)864-2991)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Thomas Mulinazzi ( (785)864-2928)
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Steven Schrock ( (785) 864-3418)
  • Graduate Students
  • Wenhua Hou
  • Project Status
  • Start Date: 7/1/2008
  • End Date: 12/31/2009
  • Sponsors & Partners
  • Kansas University Transportation Research Institute
  • About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    The purpose of this research project is to estimate the highway pavement damage costs due to truck traffic.
    Research Objective
    The primary objective of this research is to estimate the highway pavement damage costs attributed to truck (e.g., tractor-trailers) traffic.
    Potential Benefits
    Results of the study will be used to select cost-effective transportation modes for shipping goods and products, to better assess highway maintenance needs, to set up maintenance priorities, and to determine reasonable user costs.
    Kansas is one of the leaders in meat production in the United States. In the southwest Kansas region, there are more than three hundred feed yards and several of the biggest meat processing plants in the nation. Heavy trucks (e.g., tractor trailers) have been used primarily for transporting processed meat, meat byproducts, grain, and other related products. With the continuous growth of these industries, there will be more trucks on highways transporting meat and meat-related products in southwest Kansas. These trucks cause significant damage to Kansas highway pavements, which in turn leads to more frequent maintenance actions and ultimately more traffic delays and congestion. The primary objective of this research was to estimate the highway damage costs attributed to the truck traffic associated with the processed meat (beef) and related industries in southwest Kansas. The researchers developed a systematic pavement damage estimation procedure that synthesized several existing methodologies, including the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) methods. For this research project, the highway section of US 50/400 between Dodge City and Garden City in Kansas was selected and its pavement data were collected for analysis. Outcomes of this research will be beneficial for the selection of cost-effective transportation modes for the meat processing and related industries in southwest Kansas. It will also help government agents to assess highway maintenance needs and to set up maintenance priorities. Meanwhile, the analysis results will be valuable for the determination of reasonable user costs. Based on findings of this research, recommendations on the selection of transportation modes are provided and promising future research tasks are suggested as well.
    Total Project Cost
    $ 120,000
    Modal Orientation
  • Economics
  • Freight
  • Highways
  • Pavements