The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure
Start date: 08/08/09
End date: 02/28/11
Report: March 2011, The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure 636.19 kb (*pdf)
Related publications: The Actual Cost of Food Systems on Roadway Infrastructure 151.95 kb *pdf (Tech transfer summary) March 2011
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Sponsor(s):Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
About the research
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.