Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-KU: 262 Final Report


A Cooperative Research Project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration

A Report on Research Sponsored By Mid-America Transportation Center University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Kansas is one of the leaders in meat production in the United States. In the southwest Kansas region, there are more than three hundred feed yards and several of the biggest meat processing plants in the nation. Heavy trucks (e.g., tractor-trailers) have been used primarily for transporting processed meat, meat byproducts, grain, and other related products. With the continuous growth of these industries, there will be more trucks on highways transporting meat and meat-related products in southwest Kansas. These trucks cause noteworthy damage to Kansas highway pavements, which in turn leads to more frequent maintenance actions and ultimately more traffic delays and congestion. The primary objective of this research was to estimate the highway damage costs attributed to the truck traffic associated with the processed meat (beef) and related industries in southwest Kansas. The researchers developed a systematic pavement damage estimation procedure that synthesized several existing methodologies including Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) methods. In this research project, the highway section of US 50/400 between Dodge City and Garden City in Kansas was selected and its pavement data were collected for analysis. Outcomes of this research will be beneficial for the selection of cost-effective transportation modes for the meat processing and related industries in southwest Kansas. It will also help government agents to assess highway maintenance needs and to set up maintenance priorities. Meanwhile, the analysis results will be valuable for the determination of reasonable user costs. Based on findings of this research, recommendations on the selection of transportation modes are provided and promising future research tasks are suggested as well.

PowerPoint presentation attached below as Related File.

Link to Webinar video: http://vimeo.com/37397198