SC&RA Sends DOTs Strong Message on Bad Road Design

The organization shows that poorly designed intersections and interchanges have a direct impact on transport costs.

📅   Fri June 19, 2015 - Midwest Edition
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Improperly designed intersections and interchanges are being designed and built in way that make them impassible to OS/OW loads, forcing carriers of such loads to make detours of upwards of 100 miles, according to the paper.
Improperly designed intersections and interchanges are being designed and built in way that make them impassible to OS/OW loads, forcing carriers of such loads to make detours of upwards of 100 miles, according to the paper.

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) has issued a three-page white paper to address how “poorly designed intersections and interchanges have a direct impact on transport costs and adversely impact a private company’s ability to competitively produce and ship oversize/overweight [OS/OW] products by creating barriers for OS/OW carriers.”

SC&RA is sending a copy of the white paper to all state departments of transportation, state freight advisory groups, state industry groups involved with the movement of OS/OW loads, federal officials and others who have a voice in the future design of intersections and interchanges.

Roundabouts, Intersections & Interchanges — Barriers and Benefits to Specialized Transportation Carriers and DOTs emphasizes that civil engineers’ efforts to increase safety and efficiency at the nation’s crossroads have primarily focused on the volume of cars, arguably at the expense of trucks, particularly OS/OW trucks.

Improperly designed intersections and interchanges are being designed and built in way that make them impassible to OS/OW loads, forcing carriers of such loads to make detours of upwards of 100 miles, according to the paper. Resulting delays and associated costs ultimately are passed on to consumers, shippers and producers, including departments of transportation and local governments. Some of these loads are destined for road and bridge projects.

The white paper details problems created by roundabouts (circular intersections), the most notable alternative intersection type being embraced by states. Also included are descriptions of other types of intersections that present challenges to specialized transport such as various forms of U-turns and signalized monotubes, as well as emerging intersection types better suited for OS/OW loads such as diverging diamond and single point interchanges and displaced/continuous left intersections.

SC&RA noted its eagerness to be directly involved in dialog concerning the planning and design of intersections and interchanges. The paper concluded with a listing of experts who already have contributed innovations to this important subject and who are willing to share their expertise:

• Peter Lynch, Specialized Freight Solutions — former freight operations program manager at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation who was a key architect of the first OS/OW Freight Network. Contact: plynch@specialized-freight.com or 920/268-1935.

• Mark Lenters, GHD — leader of a design team at GHD and former president of Ourston Roundabout Design Engineers who has provided safe, workable solutions to roundabout design to accommodate OS/OW transport. Contact: Mark.lenters@ghd.com 608/249-4402.

• Gene Russell, PhD, Kansas State University — leader of a study that illustrates the need to balance roundabout designs and placement with OS/OW needs. Contact: geno@ksu.edu 785/532-1588.