Through online research and interviews, we will develop a synthesis of available research and selected practitioner experience on the topic. We will organize, analyze and summarize the information to serve LRRB and MnDOT as a baseline of current information for further review and research. We will also identify any apparent gaps in available information. The subtopics discussed on the Technical Advisory Panel call are
Through online research and interviews, we will develop a synthesis of available research and selected practitioner experience on the topic. We will organize, analyze and summarize the information to serve LRRB and MnDOT as a baseline of current information for further review and research. We will also identify any apparent gaps in available information. The subtopics discussed on the Technical Advisory Panel call are listed below. It would be helpful if the TAP prioritized these and potentially eliminated some of them in order to limit the scope of this TRS to a manageable effort.
• Infrastructure impacts: Effects of increased truck weight limits (including various combinations of load and axle configuration) on pavements and bridges, with an emphasis on the effects on local highways. Impacts of super-single tires will be examined.
• Traffic and congestion impacts of heavier and larger trucks.
• Safety considerations, such as increased stopping distance for heavier trucks.
• Roadway geometric design considerations for larger or heavier vehicles, such as the necessary turning radius and deceleration distance.
• Environmental/health impacts, such as air quality and brake noise.
• Spring load restrictions considerations (e.g., permitting heavier loads allows more agricultural transport while ground is still frozen).
• Comparison with other states in the region, looking at other states’ load limits and their impacts.
• Funding approaches used by local agencies to address the impacts of heavier vehicles.
This synthesis will focus on the most recent and most relevant studies selected from the very large body of existing research on this topic. The synthesis will include recent and in-progress national research, Minnesota research, and the most relevant studies from other states and countries.
This TRS will consist of two products:
• A 10- to 15-page synthesis of available research and resources, following the topics outlined above, as adjusted by the TAP.
• A 2-page summary document highlighting key issues at a glance for legislators and other stakeholders in a visually appealing way. We will want to discuss with the TAP the desired design and format for this document.
• Suggested content includes a comparison of other states’ load limits and a concise summary of main issues (highlighting pros and cons).
• If there are areas where the body of recent, credible research indicates differing conclusions, this will be summarized in an objective, unbiased manner. Emerging areas that need more investigation will be noted.
• The document will target specific issues expected to come before the state Legislature, including (1) increased load limits in general, and (2) a proposed shift toward uniform load limits for vehicles in all sectors (agricultural, materials, etc.).
We plan to deliver the draft TRS and summary document between October 15 and 31, 2014, or before.
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