Highway Cost Allocation and Determination of Heavy Freight-Truck Permit Fees

Principal Investigator:

Diwakar Gupta, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Project Summary:

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and other state DOTs periodically carry out studies to assess how highway construction and maintenance (HCM) expenditures ought to be attributed to various vehicle classes. In parallel, each vehicle-class?s contribution to revenues from fuel and excise taxes and permit fees are calculated. Although, the latter are determined by the state legislature, the cost-to-revenue ratio helps inform MnDOT if changes to policy could be justified. A variety of methods have been developed to apportion HCM costs to different classes of users. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the pros and cons of different HCA methods and to identify and develop a methodology best suited for conditions in Minnesota. Researchers also carried out a highway cost allocation study (HCAS) using the latest data from Minnesota. In addition, the methodology developed in this project can be used to evaluate damage costs to the road system from permitting trucks with a gross vehicle weight of more than 80,000-lb on Minnesota roads and the users? willingness to pay for such permits.

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