Review of U.S. Department of Transportation Truck Size and Weight Study – Second Report: Review of USDOT Technical Reports


The Committee for Review of U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Truck Size and Weight Study has released its second of two reports. The committee concluded that while the USDOT report acknowledges gaps in addressing its legislative charge, a more comprehensive and useful response would have been possible. The USDOT Comprehensive Truck Size & Weight Limits Study lacks a consistent and complete quantitative summary of the alternative configuration scenarios, and major categories of costs – such as expected bridge structural costs, frequency of crashes, and infrastructure costs on certain roads – are not estimated.The Academies’ letter report does not take a position on whether or how to change current federal truck size and weight limits. It offers recommendations for improving estimates in each of the impact categories, in order to increase the value of any future truck size and weight studies.In its first letter report, released in March 2014, the committee reviewed the desk scans (literature reviews) prepared by USDOT at the beginning of its study.

The Academies’ study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. TRB is a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.

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