Impacts of ethanol plants on highway networks

Subhro Mitra, Alan Dybing, Denver Tolliver

Abstract


This paper describes the impacts of the ethanol industry on existing
highway infrastructure in the vicinity of an ethanol production plant.
To determine the impacts of plant location, the corn and soybean draw
areas are estimated on the basis of crop prices. Crop production data
are extracted from satellite imagery of the crop data layer produced by
National Agricultural Statistics Service and the United States
Department of Agriculture. The increase in truck traffic attributable
to the ethanol plant is estimated for the changed flow of feedstock. A
model is run for two scenarios: i) existing corn and soybean
production; and, ii) increased corn and soybean production. Based on
existing pavement condition and incremental traffic changes, the funds
required to maintain the affected roads at their present service levels
are quantified.

Keywords


transportation, ethanol, impact, highway

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5198/jtlu.v4i1.160


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