Effects of Major Traffic Generators on Local Highway Systems

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  01/15/2010

Summary:

The Minnesota Department of Transportation initiated a study focused on the effects of major traffic generators on local highway systems. Minnesota State University and SRF Consulting Group, Inc. will conduct a major research study on the topic. To assist in that research CTC & Associates was asked to conduct a preliminary investigation focused on large wind farm developments, an increasingly common type of major traffic generators in Minnesota. The development of large wind farms necessarily includes the movement of very large, oversize trucks carrying wind turbines over county roads. This construction raises several concerns, including pavement damage; indirect impact to the immediate area surrounding the roads; and related costs to local governments to repair and maintain the roads and to mitigate other effects. The preliminary investigation focused on gathering information related to the two main areas of inquiry in the research project: calculating pavement damage and secondary impacts due to large vehicle traffic; and policy options for local governments to recapture the costs of roadway maintenance caused by wind farm development.

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