Road Impacts from Shale Energy Development

In recent years, new hydraulic fracturing technologies have led to rapid shale oil and gas development. This development has included an unprecedented amount of heavy truck loading on low-volume, rural roads, many of which were not built to withstand such loading. Many highway agencies are concerned about the impact of these loads on the life of their pavements and have had to adapt to this new paradigm by developing polices to protect their infrastructure. Pennsylvania has seen extensive development of the Marcellus shale formation in recent years with significant impact to its road system. New York State has been preparing for future development of their Marcellus shale pending environmental reviews. This paper describes a variety of approaches used in Pennsylvania and New York to keep local roads safe during construction of these energy facilities and to provide fair reimbursement to municipalities for the loss in pavement service life that occurs from these activities. The engineering background is described for methods used to project long-term damage, quantify damage to specific roads, determine needs for pre-development pavement upgrades, and allocate damage costs to multiple users. The advantages and disadvantages of alternative approaches are discussed and provisions for Road Use Agreements are suggested.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 633-642
  • Monograph Title: Shale Energy Engineering 2014: Technical Challenges, Environmental Issues, and Public Policy

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01535256
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784413654
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2014 10:44AM