Impacts of Nighttime-Only Truck Traffic Regulation on Pavement Performance

With the increasing congestion and pollution in metropolitan areas, various types of regulations have been applied to control truck traffic. Restricting truck traffic to off-hours is one commonly used policy and its feasibility has been recently discussed for New York City. The impacts of this policy on logistics, environment, and traffic operations were extensively studied before this research. However, how this policy would affect load-bearing infrastructure is rarely studied. This paper attempts to evaluate the impact on pavement performance from the nighttime-only policy. Differences of average temperature and travel speed between daytime and nighttime were recognized as the potential factors affecting pavement performance when this regulation was applied. Simulations with the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) were conducted on three pavement sections in the top three largest cities in the United States: New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Different combinations of temperature, travel speed, and truck weight limit were investigated to simulate all possible scenarios. Statistical analysis revealed that the regulation would produce less pavement distresses and better pavement performance. The lower temperature at nighttime might be the major contribution to this effect. Moreover, if this regulation were implemented, an increase of truck gross weight limit by 10–20% would be acceptable. This study provides a technical rationale from the perspective of pavement performance for other parties.


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  • Accession Number: 01526652
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 13 2014 3:02PM