CTRE is an Iowa State University center, administered by the Institute for Transportation.

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Website: www.ctre.iastate.edu/

Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure

Researcher(s)

Principal investigators:

Project status

Completed

Start date: 08/08/09
End date: 02/28/11

Publications

Report: The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure (636.19 kb pdf) March 2011

Tech transfer summary: The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure (151.95 kb pdf) Mar 2011

Sponsor(s)/partner(s)

Sponsor(s): Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

About the research

Abstract:

The impact on the transportation infrastructure is very much dependent on the type of vehicle used to move goods. While heavier vehicles are employed on cross-country distances, for local and regional, mid- to light-trucks are used to move shorter distances.

The project found strong reasons why Iowa should invest more in the local food system, as it has the least impact on roadway infrastructure. The total revenue for transportation-related programs in the state is not enough to even keep up with the damage to pavements from the conventional and regional food systems, much less the environmental impacts of these long distance hauls. In addition, a niche for local food systems exists in the urban counties that is sustainable and can expand the economic base of the state if pursued vigorously.