FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS IN RELATING VEHICLE SIZE TO HIGHWAY COSTS

RESEARCH ON THE PROBLEM OF DETERMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGHWAY COSTS AND VEHICLE SIZE HAS BEEN IN PROGRESS AT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY FOR MORE THAN FOUR YEARS UNDER THE SPONSORSHIP OF FOUR TRUCKING FIRMS AND THE OHIO TRUCKING ASSOCIATION. THIS PAPER COVERS THE FOLLOWING PHILOSOPHIES THAT CAN BE UTILIZED IN COST ASSIGNMENT PROBLEMS: (1) USE OF THEORETICAL VS EMPIRICAL RELATIONS BETWEEN VEHICLE PARAMETERS AND COST ITEMS, (2) THEORETICAL VS ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS WHEREIN SINGLE-VALUED RESULTS ARE OBTAINED, (3) DIRECT OR INDIRECT SOURCES OF COST RESPONSIBILITY, AND (4) DISTRIBUTION OF INDIRECT COSTS, CLASSICALLY DESIGNATED AS ENGINEERING OR ADMINISTRATION. SEVERAL PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES THAT MUST BE OVERCOME IN ASSESSING COST RESPONSIBILITY ALSO ARE DISCUSSED, SUCH AS: (1) COMBINING CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT COSTS WITH ANNUAL COSTS FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS, (2) COMBINING OF COST FACTORS CONTROLLED BY WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS WITH THOSE CONTROLLED BY FACTORS OTHER THAN WEIGHT, (3) INFLUENCES OF TRAFFIC DATA ON THE ASSIGNMENT OF COSTS TO VARIOUS HIGHWAY USER GROUPS, AND (4) EXTRAPOLATION OF EMPIRICAL DATA TO INCLUDE VEHICLE SIZES GREATER THAN CURRENTLY AUTHORIZED. THE PAPER CONCLUDES THAT THE GENERAL SHAPE OF THE CURVE FOR COST VS VEHICLE-SIZE IS AVAILABLE. BASED ON A GIVEN ANNUAL EXPENDITURE BY A HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, REASONABLE ESTIMATES OF DIFFERENTIAL COST CAN BE OBTAINED. HOWEVER, THEORETICAL ANSWERS TO THE COST-SIZE PROBLEM WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MORE RATIONAL METHODS FOR DESIGN, PARTICULARLY FOR HIGHWAY GEOMETRICS AND THE RELATED COST FACTORS. /AUTHOR/

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  • Accession Number: 00201556
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 9 1994 12:00AM