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Talking Freight Transcript

Impacts of Heavy of Oversize Truck Shipments on the U.S. Highway Network

May 16, 2012

Presentations

Jennifer Symoun
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Impacts of Heavy or Oversize Truck Shipments on the U.S. Highway Network.

Today we'll have three presenters - Reymundo Rodriguez of the Idaho Transportation Department, Jack Olson of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and Scott Marion of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Reymundo Rodriguez is the Motor Carrier Services Manager for the Idaho Transportation Department. He is a lifelong Idaho resident. He started with the Idaho Transportation Department in 1987. He held various positions in the department and in 1995, was appointed as the Port of Entry Operations Officer. In 2006 he was appointed to the position of Port of Entry Manager. In January of 2007 he was appointed to Motor Carrier Services Manager. His duties entail managing the programs of commercial vehicle registration and overlegal permitting for the state of Idaho.

Jack Olson is the Assistant Director in the Planning/Asset Management Division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation. In this capacity he leads the department's Planning, Rail, Roadway and Traffic Data, and Cartography Sections. His responsibilities include Long Strategic Transportation Planning, Special Studies, Discretionary Grant Applications, Cross Border Planning, Freight and Mobility Planning, Policy Development, General Division Administration.

Scott Marion is the Assistant Director of the Motor Carrier Services Division for the Missouri Department of Transportation. He previously coordinated the department's performance measurement and performance management activities.

Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer.If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area.Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box.If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.

The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.

One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name or if you are attending with a group of people you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.

We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Impacts of Heavy or Oversize Truck Shipments on the U.S. Highway Network. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Our first presenter will be Reymundo Rodriguez of the Idaho Transportation Department.

Reymundo Rodriguez
Good morning or good afternoon.I would like to start by thanking Federal Highways Administration for allowing Idaho to participate in this webinar.The first thing I would like to talk about is the first slide which has a movement of a vessel that is one of the biggest moves in Idaho to date.The vehicle combination was 20 ft wide, 17 ft high, 345 ft in length and weighed approximately 1,300,000 lbs.It was a move in Southeast Idaho that traveled from into Wyoming.As you can see, we have some moves that can be a bit large and heavy.

First, the authority to issue overlegal permits is due to Title 49-1004 which states that the "board or other proper authorities in charge of, or having jurisdiction over a highway may in their discretion issued a special permit".The Idaho Transportation Department has jurisdiction of Idaho's Interstate highway system and state highways.Local county road jurisdiction belongs either to a city or county government.Our overlegal permits will state that a customer must contact the proper city or county government for approval of routes as needed.Very important as that many large and heavy loads must use these local roads in order to avoid vertical or bridge structures on our Interstate and state highways.

Some data concerning the Idaho Overlegal permit office.The centralized office issues approximately 66,000 to 68,000 permits on a yearly basis of which 45 to 50 percent are issued for the movement of non-reducible loads. The centralized permit office is comprised of 5 overlegal permit writers and 1 Vehicle Size and Weight Specialist. The majority of overlegal permit requests are received via a phone call from customers.Other requests are received by mail, email, fax and we have a counter where customers can come to obtain their overlegal permits.The request amount is seasonal so in good weather, the demand for permits is high.The office is extremely busy during spring to fall.

There is coordination with other personnel when the requests exceed certain dimension.If the overlegal vehicle combination exceeds either 16 ft wide, or 16 ft high or 120 ft in length, then the permit staff must contact appropriate Maintenance Engineers to determine logistical requirements needed to ensure safe movement and convenience to the traveling public.This may include specific routing, number of pilot cars and a traffic control plan if required to do so.If a request exceeds certain weight limitations, then it must be approved by our Bridge Engineer prior to issuance in order to ensure that the infrastructure is not damaged by the movement.Some restrictions imposed can be lowered speed, center lining of bridge, and no other vehicles on bridge or a denial of the permit request.

ITD's mission is one of safety, mobility and economic opportunity for all who utilize our highways in the movement of commerce and people.ITD supports the Trucking Advisory Council which is comprised of 6 board members located statewide of which each represents their industries with an equal voice.The council is committed to the same principles of ITD's mission.

I'll discuss community impacts of oversize loads and overweight loads. I started issuing permits in 1991 and I had never heard of anyone contesting the issuance of an overlegal permit. Back in 2008, we had Imperial Oil approach us about a project they're going to have an Alberta, Canada called the Kearl Oil Sands Project, which is an oil sands mine located about 43 miles north of Fort McMurray. They want to harvest oil from the sands. They approached us in 2008 to determine the requirements they needed in order to utilize the US 12 for the movement of their equipment. We worked with them to let them know what they needed to do, and what weights and sizes would be allowed to move across US 12. This equipment was rather big: about 28 feet high, about 20 feet wide, over 200 feet long, and approximately 400,000 pounds across US 12. There was thought that they wanted to go north on US-95, but there are several vertical structures that would not allow them to pass. We didn't give them pre-approval because they had to meet all our requirements as well as safety requirements that we instilled on them. In the process of doing so, these moves caught the attention of citizens along that route, and they wanted to voice their concerns about the movements on US 12.

In 2010, Imperial Oil conducted three public open houses. The concerns of the citizens at those open houses were that they did not want them to move on this highway due to the fact that US 12 is a scenic byway and an All-American Road, and the lakes and rivers along the road are Federally-protected scenic rivers. We stressed to them that even though it is a scenic byway and an All-American Road, there is still a requirement that we move commerce on there. We also explained that it was actually the viable route to go through Montana to proceed into Canada. At times, the meetings were rather heated, and their intentions were "we don't want this in our backyard." They were frustrated by the fact that they felt these moves had already been pre-approved, when in fact they had not been pre-approved.

Here is a picture of what one of the modules would have look like as it traveled down US 12. It was 24 feet wide, 30 feet high, 220 feet long, and about 600,000 pounds. They were rather substantial in size, but after reviewing the route and working with the customer, we could accommodate that. They, in turn, wanted to hold contested case hearings, and two hearings were held in December 2010 and April 2011.

The main concern the citizens had was that we did not take into account public safety thoroughly enough. We had Imperial Oil come up with a transportation plan that ended up being about 1,700 pages long and took into account pretty much every scenario where there could be an issue. They had in there that they had actually contracted with the Idaho State Police to provide escorts for these loads. They also had a medical vehicle that was going to accompany the loads in case they came upon a scene where a citizen traveling on the highway needed medical help. The transportation plan also stipulated where they would pull to the side of the road or locations where they could pull to the side to allow traffic to move forward around the vehicle.

Due to delays, Imperial Oil decided to reduce the weight and size of the modules in order to use alternate highways. They actually cut the modules in half, at a great expense, and reduced the height. That made them about 15 feet high and reduced the weight by 200,000 pounds. They decided to move the loads up US 95 and I-90 in Montana. Everybody thinks okay, they figured out a way to do it without doing across US 12, so everything is fine. Well, then the citizens of US 95 weren't exactly thrilled that the loads were going to move that way. There were actually protests as the loads were moving that route.

If you have time or are really interested in seeing some of those protests, just go to YouTube and click in Moscow, Idaho and Kearl Oil, and you can see video footage of these protests as the loads were moving up the highway. Six protesters were arrested because they failed to remove themselves from the road, as instructed by police. There was a lot of passion from the folks on these highways as the loads were being moved. One reason, I think, is they view it as "big oil," and another reason is they feel that the loads aren't safe. What a lot of citizens didn't know is that we've been moving loads this size on Idaho highways for a very long time. In fact, in 2009, we moved a load on US 12 that was pretty much the same size as these modules, but we did it efficiently and we did it at night, because that's when traffic was lowest, so that nobody knew we had made a move like that. To our credit, we make these moves all the time and make sure they are safe and efficient. The general public typically does not know that, but these loads seemed to incite a passionate response because of the route that was chosen and the fact that they thought we did not take their safety considerations into account.

During the time that the Imperial Oil modules could not move on US 12, we actually did move four coke drums to a refinery in Billings, Montana. The move was done by Emmert International, and here is a picture of the coke drums. They were 29 feet wide, 28 feet high, 226 feet long, and approximately 700,000 pounds. Once again, they followed same criteria that Imperial Oil did, so they had to have traffic control plan stipulating what they would do in any type of emergency. They had certain hours they could travel, which were predominantly at night because traffic on that highway was generally very low. We made these moves, and everything went fine. These were actually done while Imperial Oil was not allowed to move on US 12.

Once again this was a hotspot. We've never had contested issuance of permits before. Currently, Imperial Oil has specialized equipment, and they have no modules out of the Idaho Port of Lewiston. They do still move them across Idaho, but they're coming in from Washington on I-90. We're issuing one to two of these moves every day because they are trying to get the modules up there to the Kearl Oil Sands project. Imperial Oil has not contacted us saying they want to transport any large equipment on US 12. As always, we will continue to apply the same principles of safety, mobility, and economic opportunity of movement of all commerce on Idaho highways. That concludes my presentation, and I thank you for your time.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Reymundo. We will continue with our next presentation, and we will take questions after all three presentations. If you think of questions for Reymundo, continue to type them in. Our next presentation will be given by Jack Olson of the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Jack Olson
Good morning or good day to all of you. I hope this presentation is somewhat informative and interesting. Today my topic is related to the movement of oil-related traffic.I am going to cover four areas. First, I am going to give an overview of the oil industry and what has happened in North Dakota. Then I'll talk a little bit about the composition and volume of oil traffic, followed by how we quantify the impacts of oil traffic on both flexible and rigid pavement, and, finally, how we use that information at North Dakota DOT.

The first oil well in North Dakota was drilled in 1951 in a portion of the Williston Basin called the Nesson Anticline. You can see that here in red. If you look at the bottom of the page, the Williston Basin is a big dish-shaped geologic formation, and in the middle of the dish-shaped formation is the Nesson Anticline. That's the vertical well drilled back in 1951. They came down through the center of that anticline and hit the top of a pool of oil, using the technologies of the day. The Bakken formation oil bearing stretches from northeastern Montana into northwestern North Dakota and into Saskatchewan. It is a very low permeability, low porosity shale formation that really wasn't economically producing oil until the hydraulic fracking technology was employed in the last two years. This graph shows the state's oil production since January 2000. At the turn of the decade, North Dakota was producing about 90,000 barrels of oil a day.

About the middle of the page you see a green star; that represents January 2005. That is when the most recent oil production flurry started in North Dakota. It started taking off at that time, and since then has been on a continuous increase, except for a little bit of the timeframe during 2008-2009 recession. We just found out yesterday that North Dakota is now the second ranking oil producing state, having passed both Alaska and California. Now we only trail Texas in the production of oil. We are currently producing 575,000 barrels a day (not the 558,000 on the screen, because that was as of February). In March, the total oil production was at 16.8 million barrels of oil.

This slide shows the rig count in North Dakota. If you go back to the early 1980s, about 1984, that was when the previous high rig count was experienced in North Dakota, and at that time there were 142 rigs working in the state. As of yesterday, there were 210 oil rigs drilling in the state. It is anticipated that as many as 250 rigs will be drilling in the state in the near-term. Each of these rigs are capable of drilling between 10 and 12 wells per year, and industry experts anticipate that between 32,000 and 40,000 additional wells will be drilled in North Dakota over the next 15 to 20 years. Significantly, the fact is that these 210 rigs operating in the state today are about 3 to 4 times more efficient than the rigs that operated in the state back in the early 1980s.

To give you some idea of how fast oil production has increased in our state, in 2000, North Dakota was producing about 90,000 barrels/day. By August 2008, we were up to almost 4,200 wells with 5.5 million barrels/month, or about 178,000 barrels/day. By February 2012, these numbers had jumped and we were producing a little over 16 million barrels in that month, or about 560,000 barrels/day, and as I mentioned, we just found out yesterday that we are up to 575,000 barrels/day. To give you some idea of comparison to how that relates to some other oil-producing states, North Dakota, which passed California in January, produced 558,000 barrels/day in February, versus 541,000 barrels/day in California. We were doing that with about 6,700 wells, and California was doing that with about 50,000 Wells.

After we got some idea of what was happening with the pace and volume of oil development in our state, we wanted to get an understanding of the oil industry and the composition and volume of oil-related traffic during both the drilling and production phases. We also wanted to identify the origins and destinations of oil traffic so we could get a feel for what highway segments were being influenced by the oil traffic. This picture is one of a drilling rig, and we quickly found out that the sizes of these rigs were changing and getting larger. In the early 1990s, these rigs weighed about 90,000 pounds. Today they weigh about 110,000 pounds. This is true for most of the equipment used in the oil industry; it is getting larger. There are many different kinds of equipment necessary to bring an oil well into production, and the number of truckloads that are involved with each of these oil productions is dependent on whether the well is drilled vertically or horizontally. It is also dependent on the depth of the well, the moving efficiencies of the companies that are moving the pieces of equipment, and a variety of other factors that influence the overall figures. A vertical well takes about 400 truckloads one-way, and a horizontal well takes about 1,150 truckloads one-way, or 2,300 truckloads total, inbound outbound.

Several of the loads that are used to drill a well are oversized or overweight. This is a list of some of the larger loads, many of them exceeding the legal loads in North Dakota of 105,500 pounds on most of our highways. The largest of these is the mud pump, which weighs 164,000 pounds. There are two of those that move into each of the sites. Of the 100 or so loads used to move just the drilling rig portion of the operation when bringing a well into production, 40 to 50 feet are overweight, and 3 out of 4 loads are also oversized.

This picture shows a well site that is being fracked. The Bakken Oil shale formation has low permeability/porosity, so to get the oil flowing, you need to fracture the oil-bearing formation. The fracking process produces minor cracks in the formation, allowing the oil to seep in and be collected in the well bore. This slide shows how a horizontal well is drilled. On the left-hand side, you see the well bore coming down and then it goes out horizontally, and this goes out about 2 miles in length horizontally and down about 10,000 feet. They make this curve in the well by putting differential pressure on the drill.Bakken wells are typically drilled to a depth of around 10,000 feet, and the lateral that goes out to the side goes out about 2 miles.Along the lateral, you see little fracture lines, which will, under a great deal of hydraulic pressure, crack the rock and insert a fluid with a sand to hold the fissures open, and they may do this as many as 40 times along the lateral. The fracking process takes about 3 million gallons of water, or about 446 one-way truckloads per well of water, delivered in trucks like this or other tanker trucks, and about 4 million pounds of sand, or 96 one-way truckloads per well of sand.

This slide shows the distribution of oil wells in the western part of the state. Oil is initially transported to rail facilities or pipeline locations by collection pipelines or trucks - almost exclusively by trucks, although we are getting more collection pipelines in all the time. The red circles on the map denote wells where oil transported is transported by truck, and the green ones indicate wells that use collection pipelines to deliver oil to pipelines or rail transit loads. About 70% of all oil is currently being trucked from wells to pipelines and transfer locations. On average, a typical Bakken well produces about three truckloads of oil/day during its first year production.

Salt water is a by-product of oil production. The slide shows the location of permitted saltwater disposal sites. Bakken oil wells produce about one barrel of salt water for every three barrels of oil during the first year of production. Salt water is transported by pipelines in some cases, but most of it is trucked to saltwater disposal sites in vehicles similar to this one here, a truck with a pump behind it. This slide also shows how saltwater production in relation to oil production has increased over time and is a significant factor in figuring out the truck impacts on a highway segment.

Individual wells are the destination of sand or proppants, which are used to maintain the cracks in the formation so the oil can seep to the well bore.Three years ago, Williston, North Dakota was the only location receiving sand for the fracking process. Today, fracking sand and proppants are shipped to several locations by rail and then by trucks for final delivery to the well sites. The same is true of pipe used in the oil drilling phase. Again, it is brought into the state by rail to several different locations and then transported by truck to the drilling site. In addition to the state's pipeline infrastructure, which is capable of transporting about 535,000 barrels/day, there are 13 rail facilities capable of transporting about 720,000 barrels/day. Unfortunately, rail and pipeline transportation capacity is not always necessarily available relative to the location of oil production. The typical truck, similar to the one used to transport saltwater, can transport about 220 barrels of oil per load.

The EOG Resources Rail Transload Facility near Stanley, North Dakota currently ships 65,000 barrels/day. Every day, 125 truckloads deliver between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels of oil to the facility.Depending on their size, each of the state's rail transload facilities have similar truck-generating impacts on the system.

After we got a feel for what was happening with the oil industry and the composition and types of trucks being used to move all this, we wanted to compute and quantify the oil-related traffic impacts, both on our flexible and rigid pavements. This picture is in Williston, North Dakota, of many of the different trucks used in the oil industry.A couple people on our staff worked on developing this chart. On the left-hand side of the chart, it shows all the different types of trucks and movements related to the oil industry and the numbers of them, and so forth. It also looks at the number of axles and the weight in each of the axles, and from that, it converts gross vehicle weights and axle loadings to equivalent single axle loadings. For example, for the mud pump - the item that weighs 164,000 pounds - here is the number of loads per well (two in, two out) and the number of axles on the steering column and each grouping of axles thereafter. Looking at the total weight and the displacement of that weight onto the axles, the computation was made that on flexible pavement, this particular piece of equipment has a 24.7 ESALs impact on flexible pavements and 50.6 ESALs on rigid pavements.

Taking that whole chart, we looked at all of the various pieces of equipment along this side. To drill one single well, we were able to compute the number of flexible ESAL impacts on a roadway, and also the impacts on a flexible roadway. I know some people were asking the question what is an ESAL or what does it mean. The best way to explain it is that when engineers look at the loadings on an axle, an ESAL is the equivalent of about 18,000 pounds of weight on a single axle. As you look at the impact of traffic on a roadway, you are designing the roadway to carry a certain number of trucks and vehicles over time. Like putting money into the bank, you put a deposit in there when you build the road, and as each truck or piece of equipment moves across the highway it makes a withdrawal on the life of the roadway. As ESALs accumulate over time, they are taking some of the life of the roadway.

We also wanted to know what the timing of this development of an oil well was all about. We have developed a graphic from day one, when the permit for a well is applied for, and that can take up to 30 days before the drilling process begins. During the drilling phase, we looked at how many loads were made, how long it lasts. Then we looked at while it was waiting to be fracked, during the fracking process, how many loads there were after that was done, and then into the production phase over the life of well. The whole process of getting the permit, drilling, and fracking takes about six months.

Finally, what we wanted to know about the industry was considering that there may be hundreds of wells drilled in a relatively small area, we wanted to know of the traffic counts we had taken in an area had occurred prior to what we call the "oil bubble" occurring or after it. Knowing when the traffic counts were taken in relation to the oil bubble was critical to determining the magnitude of the oil traffic impacts on any given highway segment.

The red arrow shows we took the traffic count during the time of normal traffic, normal growth rate on traffic over time, and the oil impacts on an area had not really been experienced yet at that time. As the oil came about, we wanted to account for all the traffic for whatever number of oil wells that were in a certain area, and that is represented by what we call the bubble. We had to account for all the traffic in that area below the curve and add it to those traffic forecasts for that normal growth rate to say this would be the impact on that road once that oil traffic starts being experienced.

This second traffic count was taken during our normal traffic period, but it was already elevated because traffic was being associated with the development of oil in the area, and we were partly into the bubble when this count was taken. What we had to do in that case was only count the traffic above the new established baseline; so in that case, this oil bubble only included this much area of additional traffic, versus the first example, which included all of the traffic below the curve.

Finally, we then wanted to apply this information to specific segments to understand where they were in their life, how much life we would have on those highways additionally, or project the life that was there and determine our schedule for reconstruction. In this particular instance, you will see what we refer to as an oil production area. White areas are areas where there are no oil spacing units defined. Oil spacing units are areas that a well would have to stay within as the well bore is drilled. The areas in tan are 640-acre areas or one-mile squares. Many of the spacing units in western North Dakota are in the pink rectangles, which are 1280-acre spacing units, or two square miles.

For that same well oil-producing area, there are four state highways shown, and we want to attribute traffic to each of the various segments of the highway. This particular map also shows things like the location of saltwater disposal sites, where rigs are, and where they get water from for the fracking process. We looked at one of the units and we divided the geographic area by closest proximity to a state highway. This spacing does not account for road obstacles, such as bridges with lower load limits or topography issues, which these areas could be adjusted to account for. In this particular area, there were 20 spacing units in the northern portion of the area. There are already 33 existing wells in the area. According to our oil and gas folks, when this is all developed there will be on average 3.8 wells per spacing unit. Looking at the 33 wells existing already, we wanted to find out the additional traffic that would be generated by the additional 43 wells that could be there. We took the 20 spacing units times the density and figured out how many wells there would probably be there (33 existing plus 43 additional wells), and attributed that traffic to the roadway segment along here. Opposite to that would be another area north of this roadway on the opposite side that would also put traffic onto this roadway. That was developing computing the oil bubble so that we could give the information to our materials and research division for the development of pavement designs. We also considered factors such as where the location of the water depots were that are necessary for getting water to the well for the fracking process, where the pipe comes from, or where the sand or frack proppants come from. Where the equipment is located is also part of the consideration for attributing additional truck traffic and putting the oil bubble onto this roadway to come up with a traffic projection for the additional traffic generated by oil.

With that, if there are any questions I will try to answer them for you at the end of the presentation.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Jack. We will move on to our final presentation and then start taking questions after that. Again, continue typing any questions and for Jack that you might have. Our final presentation will be given by Scott Marion of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Scott Marion
Thank you. My topic is on common sense things we've learned in Missouri as they relate to helping motor carriers respond to emergencies and other natural disasters. As Mr. Rodriguez talked about, every state is set up a little differently in the way they oversee motor carriers, but I hope we can generate some introspective questions about are we prepared and how we can better prepare ourselves.

During natural disasters and other emergencies, the most critical thing we can do is to allow others to respond as quickly as possible. We've discovered that it really doesn't matter whether the disaster is in our state or another; we have to respond because they are going to be coming to your state most likely if the disaster is near you. The other thing we have learned is we have to be available 24/7 during emergencies.

Unfortunately, in Missouri, we've had too much practice of late responding to natural disaster. We had the catastrophic tornado in Joplin last year. This year we had another tornado in Branson, and we have had several rounds of flooding. Overall, we think we've done a pretty good job of doing our part to get the lights back on, but we have learned a few things that we think will help us better prepare in the future. One thing I would like to point out is that the safety regulations to the traveling public and our infrastructure are still out there. The stuff that we do bureaucratically is still there, but in an emergency, common sense needs to play a part and our overriding motto has always been to get the lights on. It's not the time to be a strict bureaucrat, so to speak.

One of the first things someone in your state needs to do before an emergency is identify who is responsible for what. As we said, every state is different. For instance, the hours of service may vary. These Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations are in place to increase the safety on our highways by limiting the hours that a driver can drive. But during an emergency, someone in your state has the authority suspend these requirements for a limited amount of time. In Missouri, it happens to be the Highway Patrol. One of the questions you need to ask yourself is who is responsible for hours of service in emergencies?

Another important consideration is the international registration plan, or IRP. This is the plan that licenses the motor carriers in each individual state that the carrier will drive in, but if the carrier needs to go through your state or come to your state and hasn't already apportioned a license for your state, someone in your state has the authority to waive the fees and allow them in your state during emergencies.

Another consideration is the IFTA, or International Fuel Tax Agreement. This particular agreement collects the fuel tax for each individual state or jurisdiction. Again, someone in your state has the authority to waive the fuel tax.

The last thing you need to identify who is responsible for is oversized, overweight permits. Because of our infrastructure and for safety considerations such as vertical clearance, permits must still be issued on oversized, overweight loads during emergencies. In Missouri, we have an agent, and permit issuance is available 24/7, including during emergencies. During emergencies, we waive the fee to get these OS/OW loads through to help get the lights on. We still must comply with Federal requirements to prohibit the reducible loads on our interstates, unless there is a Federal emergency declaration. An example would be a Wal-Mart truck carrying a load of bottled water for disaster relief and they weigh 90,000 pounds. They can't get an OS/OW permit and would be operating illegally on the interstate if there wasn't a Federal emergency declaration.

Utility companies are the next thing I would like to discuss. They obviously play a major role in responding to natural disasters. A couple things you need to consider with utility companies is hours of service, as we discussed earlier. Utility companies are exempt from the hours of service requirements during emergencies based on Federal law, but the contractors are not. The carriers hauling electrical poles or cutting down trees, for instance, have to comply with the hours of service requirements unless the requirements are waived, which is something you may want to consider during a natural disaster. In our case, the Highway Patrol would waive those. Also with the IFTA and IRP that we talked about, utility companies may need those requirements waived because utility companies often have partner utility companies from other states that aren't apportioned in your state. They may need to get in to assist, so you may need to waive the fees. The other neat thing about utility companies is that they are very proactive in responding to emergencies. If there is a hurricane or ice storm that is highly probable and they've been monitoring the forecast, they will mobilize way before the storm and will most likely need your assistance early. You need to be prepared for that. They know the drill, and they probably do it a lot better than we do as far as pre-mobilization and logistics. They can really be a good partner for you in this. I know we've implemented several best practices that we have learned from utility companies on pre-mobilization and logistics as we get ready to fight snowstorms and plow snow and ice.

This goes without saying, but you need to plan ahead. We have a vital role and responsibility in helping individuals who have lost their homes or don't have electricity because of a major ice storm or tornado. Getting food and water to them is crucial. One thing I've learned about carriers is they will step up quickly and help out. Sometimes they get paid and many times they do not, but we have to allow them to get food and water in. Everything we have talked about so far is how will you contact these people 24/7, and do you know who you need to contact?

In natural disasters, time is critical. It is not only important to know exactly who is responsible, but how you will respond. In other words, what is the process? In Missouri, emergency declarations ultimately rest with the governor. However, the authority can and has often been delegated to our Department of Public Safety, and in certain situations the declarations can be made by MODOT on a limited time basis. An example would be that the Motor Carrier Services within MODOT may decide to waive the IRP, IFTA, and OS/OW permit fees during the disaster. We contact Highway Patrol, who is responsible for all the roadside enforcement in Missouri, so they will know not to ticket these folks. Then the Highway Patrol puts out the official announcement and releases it to the other jurisdictions.

Each state has emergency preparedness plans. They practice them, but it is important for your agency and my agency to know our role and the role of the other agencies. Some examples are what routes have been identified as military and emergency response routes? Where are the staging areas for relief supplies located? I encourage you to participate in emergency simulations. We test our emergency radios monthly and we participate in all statewide emergency planning.

Another consideration we ran into during last year's heavy snowstorms, which were the first time we had ever completely shut down I-70 from St. Louis to Kansas City. In previous snowstorms we shut down little sections, but never the entire corridor. Because we had never done this before, we ended up having trouble finding safe spots for the trucks to get off the road. Working with our local Districts and local officials and law enforcement, we scrambled around and found some distribution centers, abandoned shopping malls, and other safe places for the trucks to park. But we learned that we need to have this preplanned. Since that time, we've secured truck staging areas during disasters, some of them through MOUs with local cities, and sometimes they have been contracts. It's a good idea to know where you are going to move the trucks during an emergency.

The other thing I would like you to consider is not just the statewide emergency plans, but your particular office or where you work. Dust off your contingency plan. Do you even have good plans? This kind of caught us by surprise. It was on May 8th, Truman's birthday, which in Missouri is a State holiday, but the Motor Carrier Service Office is about the only State office that is still open. Since it was a State holiday, we used that time to do maintenance work on the computers and systems. They were doing some routine maintenance on the huge backup generator at our IT building and when they hooked it back up, they shot about three times more power right into the servers than they should have, and our phones were down for most of the day along with our computer system. When the phones finally came up, we had 200 OS/OW carriers that needed permits to move that day. Unfortunately, we were not able to help the move because we do almost everything electronically - our TMS maps that show the vertical SAG clearances and weight restrictions on bridges. We could not safely route them, so they had to wait until the next day. It got us thinking that we had been so reliant on technology, so we dusted off our contingency plans. One of our plans was that if the power ever goes off again or we lose our maps, we can issue permits in our system testing environment and simulate the permit and then manually enter them in the next day. Also, we decided we should keep copies of the old paper permits and instructions for getting a permit so we could do a manual permit if we had to and fax them; keep everything from old maps of paper copies of road restrictions; and have a radio emergency contact with the local district. In other words if it is during an emergency and power is down and you have to get a utility truck to turn the lights back on, you may have to radio the local district to find out if the bridge is still there and safe. The moral of the story is that it does not hurt to sit down and think of every possibility you can think of and how you might address it.

This also goes without saying that it's critical to let the carriers, other states, and the rest of your State agencies know what you are doing as soon as possible. In addition to the normal official channels of communication we have, we found that during times of disaster, some of the social media works very well. We have a listserv for all of our carriers that they respond to well. We have a Motor Carrier Services Facebook page that has been successful beyond our expectations. We have Twitter, we regularly appear on Sirius radio to announce closures, restrictions, etc., and we even have a mobile app. When there was a tornado in Joplin, for a brief time there was basically no MODOT communication, so cell phones and texting became invaluable during that time, along with our emergency radios. Employees were bringing in personal laptops, air cards, and cell phones, and many times that was the only way we could communicate.

One other point on communication I will mention is that if you get with your utility companies prior to emergencies, they will most likely provide you with a list of the contractors/subcontractors that they will use in emergencies. That will be handy for you because as they call in for permits you will recognize them, and it will stop a lot of the situations where some guy with a chainsaw is looking to make some money after a tornado and he gets stopped at a weigh scale and wants to get permitted.

One other thing we do during emergencies is before, if we have pre-notice, we have daily and sometimes several times a day conference calls throughout the department to make sure we are communicating well.

I am pretty much done. This was pretty simple stuff; nothing new. My goal was hopefully to provide some reminders that we all need to ask the right people the questions and see if we are ready and do everything to get the lights on.

Q&A

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Scott. We are now going to start the Q&A session. Scott, we will start with questions for you. How do haulers obtain oversize/overweight permits 24/7 in Missouri?

Scott Marion
We have an on-call 24/7 permit agent. They have a rotation. They share the department cell phone and take their laptop home with them, and we provide them with ways to log on. Every weigh station in Missouri has that number. Almost all of our carriers have that number. Unfortunately, two or three times a night, our 24/7 permit person gets a call about why did you route this person this way? They're hitting the mastheads on a river crossing. We make it a policy that we are available to our carriers and our roadside assistance enforcement 24/7.

Jennifer Symoun
This one is for Jack: is the impact of oversize/overweight loads greater on flexible pavement than on rigid payment?

Jack Olson
I am a planner, not an engineer, but I can try to address that. The impact of an EASL is regulated differently on flexible pavements than it is on concrete pavements. When a roadway is designed for a certain number of ESALs, then the calculation of the weight of those axle loadings relates to either flexible or rigid pavement. It is calculated differently, but the impact in essence is the same. You have a different bank account of life for concrete pavement than you would for flexible pavement.

Jennifer Symoun
We start at the top with questions for Reymundo. Who did the hauling for the OS/OW load that was displayed on the picture on the cover of your slide?

Reymundo Rodriguez
That was done by Intermountain Rigging and Heavy Haul out of Salt Lake City.

Jennifer Symoun
Does Idaho have electronic credentialing capability?

Reymundo Rodriguez
We do. We have a site where customers can obtain their own permits, but it's only for annual permits. We do have an annual overweight/oversize, but it does not allow them to obtain a permit for vehicles of the size that you saw on the first slide. There is a way they can get a permit, but it does not cover loads that exceed the envelope vehicle dimensions.

Jennifer Symoun
Are the open houses a requirement or good business practices?

Reymundo Rodriguez
There is nothing in Idaho code or administrative law that says we have to have an open house for the movement of oversize/overweight loads. In this case, it was a good business practice. Actually, when Imperial Oil contacted us early on about wanting to make a move of this size, they had already incorporated in their plans that they wanted to put on an open house so they could assure the citizens that the move could be done safely and efficiently. There is no requirement that it has to be done.

Jennifer Symoun
Is there an online option for the permitting process?

Reymundo Rodriguez
Yes, but as stated before, it's only for annual permits. Single trip permits have to be done through the centralized permit office.

Jennifer Symoun
What principles does ITD use to determine permit fees?

Reymundo Rodriguez
There are administrative costs associated with the issuance of each permit, and we do a cost study every year to determine what that fee should be. That takes into account all the administrative functions we do in issuing the permits as well as the salaries of the people who actually issue the permit, the maintenance engineers that we ask to spend time on the requests, our bridge section, and our enforcement personnel, so administrative costs are covered that way. As far as the weight portion of the permit, there is a road use fee that they must pay, and those are based on the number of axles on the vehicle as well as total gross weight and total miles traveled in Idaho. It is a sliding scale, so it can get a little bit pricey, but typically, if you surveyed states around us we are probably in the middle when it comes to road use fees for these types of movements.

Jennifer Symoun
Where did the large trucks park at the end of the day? Was there large parking summer?

Reymundo Rodriguez
There was. As part of the plan, they had to designate locations where there was ample room for them to park on the side of the road to allow two-way traffic to use that roadway for their business.

Jennifer Symoun
Were you able to recoup the true cost of heavy load example (the drums) through Idaho's existing permitting fee structure?

Reymundo Rodriguez
I believe we did. The thing about the road use fees and administrative fees is that they are set in Idaho code, so those are fees we have to follow and maintain. Based on the amount of time we spent on it, I believe we did. One of the things the citizens were concerned about was they seemed to think when they approached us in 2008 that is all we did; we worked on nothing but these movements. But that's not the way it works. You work on them a little bit here, a little bit there. Those costs are determined by the cost study, and of course the road use fees are already set in Idaho code. I feel we did get the true cost.

Jennifer Symoun
You mentioned you have a centralized permit office of OW/OS loads even though the presentation was only on State highways. Does this central office handle those loads if they also go on city streets or county-owned roads?

Reymundo Rodriguez
No, our centralized permit office only issues permits for one county. One county has come into agreement with us to allow us to issue their permits, but otherwise, the permits we issue our strictly for State highways and the interstate. The other counties have not come into agreement with us, so therefore they are responsible for issuing the permits for their city and county roads under their jurisdiction.

Jennifer Symoun
Are Idaho's overload permit fees adequate to cover administrative costs and wear and tear on the roadways?

Reymundo Rodriguez
I believe they are.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Reymundo. Now we will move on to questions for Jack. With respect to the increase in rig weights from the 1990s, have ESALs also increased?

Jack Olson
I could answer intuitively that they probably have, but we did not go back and look at the configuration and weights of equipment used in the oil industry in 1990. We looked at them from this point on: what are the current impacts? We didn't actually go back historically. Intuitively, because of the equipment being so much larger, I would anticipate that there has been some increase. For example, that rig that you mentioned: a lot of those used to have one less axle on them, so the weights were lower, but as they got to be higher, they added an axle. That would have to be computed, but we have not done that.

Jennifer Symoun
Are there instances in North Dakota when anticipating significant OS/OW movements, the North Dakota DOT builds roads to a higher specification to accommodate them?

Jack Olson
I guess that was the whole idea behind this. Given the number of wells that would be located in a particular, we wanted to know where traffic would go and to what segment of roadway. We wanted to be able to compute what the additional ESAL factor would be for this segment. Now we have that information in addition to the normal growth rate that was out there in traffic before, and we count our oil production every year to get an idea of how traffic counts are changing. They can take that baseline figure, look at the normal growth, and then apply the oil bubble for the number of wells in a particular area into the design of the roadway.

Jennifer Symoun
Does North Dakota DOT have problems with rutting during the spring thaw?

Jack Olson
Yes, I think everybody does. One of the things about the oil industry is that they move a lot of materials any time of year. They are willing to pay overload fees and things like that because the cost of doing business there is unbelievable. They'll make the movements and pay the fees if they can, and in some cases, since we have a lot of flexible pavement, there is a lot of rutting in some of the roadways. It's a constant challenge to deal with that.

Jennifer Symoun
Has North Dakota devised a revenue recovery technique that would allocate the cost of accelerated maintenance to the oil industry?

Jack Olson
Not directly to each individual movement, where we can say the movement of this piece of equipment will cost this much to recover the cost, but during our last legislative session the legislature appropriated $226.8 million for State highways in the oil production area, and $142 million for county and township roads in the oil production area. Those dollars came out of the general funds, which I think were then put into the general funds from an extraction tax on the oil industry. Indirectly, the oil industry helped pay for the impacts on the roadways but not directly to any one movement.

Jennifer Symoun
Has North Dakota instituted a traffic count program to verify the traffic count projections you developed?

Jack Olson
What we are trying to do is count every year in those areas to find out how the traffic is changing and use of ATRs and so forth to get some classification of the vehicles and see how that is changing. Right now, we are working with Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University to develop a traffic model for Western North Dakota that would capture these movements, look at the timing of them based on how the wells would be developed in relation to their leasing patterns, and then determine how much additional truck traffic that should create and how that compares to the truck counts in the area. We haven't done it specifically but we're moving in that direction.

Jennifer Symoun
Jack, I will put this question to you, but Reymundo or Scott, you may want to answer it as well. When setting fees for OS/OW movements, do DOTs also consider the additional costs imposed by resource industries with additional volumes of highway sized traffic?

Jack Olson
I think that's an area where there is still a lot of evolution occurring. If you do that for one industry, you have to do it for all to be fair. If you do it for the oil industries, are there large movements associated with the agriculture industry or forest industry or any other industry you may have. I think that is an area right now that has been primarily addressed through registration fees; the larger vehicles pay higher registration fees and so forth. To answer directly, I don't think that we currently have a system that fully allocates those costs to the industries.

Reymundo Rodriguez
I agree with Jack. That was a great answer.

Jennifer Symoun
Jack, do you have wind farm installations with large windmill components requiring OS permits? If so, how many?

Jack Olson
We have 1,400 or so megawatts of wind powered generation in North Dakota right now, and that roughly translates to about 1,400 towers. They're about a megawatt per tower. Each tower takes 13 to 15 loads, of which I believe 11 require oversize or overweight permits because of the nature of the load. Some of those loads are up in the range of a couple hundred thousand plus pounds. What we find there is that most of the impact occurs during the construction phase. The other thing we find in North Dakota is that some of these components are being brought inland to the Great Lakes, to Duluth, and then they're being transported across Minnesota and North Dakota to other locations for wind farms in the northern Great Plains. There are also places that make wind farm components in Colorado and ship them to Kansas and things like that, so it's not just wind farms in our state and the movements associated with them impacting roadways, but components going through our state are also impacting our highways.

Jennifer Symoun
Are you sharing your analysis with local agencies that are being impacted by the additional OS/OW truck traffic? Many of their roads are gravel, so have you done any analysis for gravel roads?

Jack Olson
Certainly the information we have isn't secretive by any means, and we've made many presentations on it. I think the challenge that many of our local governments are having are just dealing with this. For example, in western North Dakota there 17 counties are members of the oil and gas producing permitting process, so they permit across county boundaries. Those fees are primarily there to cover the administrative costs of the permit and to route the truck or piece of equipment. I don't think they are recouping the cost of the impacts to the roadways in most cases. With regard to gravel roads, we haven't done an analysis on the impacts on a gravel road. In North Dakota, we have a grid system of roadways almost every mile for most of the state. The characteristics of how those roadways were built vary greatly from one roadway to the next, so to calculate the impact on the roadways is very difficult.

Jennifer Symoun
When North Dakota collected traffic data, how did they know what part of the oil bubble they were in?

Jack Olson
That is where looked at how many wells were currently drilled in any given oil production area. The example I had showed 70-some wells would be drilled in that area; there were 30-some wells currently drilled in that area and we knew there would be approximately 43 additional wells drilled, so we were already partly into the oil bubble in the one area. We knew approximately how many wells were still to be drilled and what the impacts of the wells would be, and we attributed that to the roadway segment accordingly.

Jennifer Symoun
Why hasn't oversized equipment going to Canada been sized to allow shipment via rail?

Reymundo Rodriguez
Not to say that they couldn't do it, but in talking to Imperial Oil, they wanted the modules to be built to certain dimensions so when they got to Canada it was easy to assemble them and make the extraction process easier. It was a business decision on their part not to do it by rail, and there were a lot of other difficulties in doing so for them. They felt it was easier just to transport them via commercial vehicle.

Jack Olson
There are some restrictions on the rail system with regard to height, weight, width, and so forth. Even some mainlines are impractical for the movement of some oversize pieces of equipment.

Jennifer Symoun
Did North Dakota ask the fracking industry to justify operating OS/OW? If so, what was the deciding point to approve?

Jack Olson
A number of different agencies have responsibilities with regard to regulations for the oil industry and the size of that equipment. Certain decisions are often made by the industries, and then the transportation system is asked to make the movements. If they don't fit within the size and weight limitations that don't require permits, then they have to get a permit for those processes. In some cases they may want to move on a particular roadway and the District Engineer working with the Highway Patrol will deny a permit because of a height or weight or a seasonal load restriction on a roadway, etc. Whenever possible, they will try to permit the load movement to support the opportunities for economic growth.

Jennifer Symoun
This question is for Reymundo and Jack. Do you see ESALs playing a more important role in the permitting process in the future as opposed to traditional weight measures?

Reymundo Rodriguez
I think there is a place for that and it's a good way to determine fees. The issue we have here is educating our legislative folks on why there is a need to use that and how it would impact the current fee schedule. I think it is a good thing to do, but as with anything, when you take something to the legislature it also depends on how you can convince them and what the appropriate fee should be.

Jack Olson
I agree with that. As I mentioned before, if you apply it to one industry then in order to be fair and equitable, the computations should be applied across the board to all industries so that everyone is being treated equitably. The one issue that comes when you have border traffic like between us and Montana is then you have differential size and weight restrictions and so forth, make it difficult for the industries to operate. If you use an ESAL equivalent, it might even out that administration more equitably.

Jennifer Symoun
Reymundo, what has been a hindrance to establishing agreements with counties other than the one an agreement has already been established with?

Reymundo Rodriguez
For the agreement we have with the one county, the city and county got together, all the different entities, and said we do want you to issue permits for our county, so it was a unified agreement with the whole county. With the other counties around the state, we have tried to get into agreement with them, but they can't seem to get all of the city and county governments who have local jurisdiction over a highway to agree on the principles that we use for routing and the overweight allowed on highways. We hope to get there eventually, but there is a process where we want to have the whole county and not just bits and pieces, because if you have the bits and pieces then it becomes a nightmare trying to figure out where you can actually issue a permit.

Jennifer Symoun
We are going to close out for today. I want to thank all three presenters for the great presentations, and thank you to everybody in attendance as well. The recorded version of today's webinar will be available within the next 2 to 3 weeks on the Talking Freight website, and I will send out an e-mail once it is available. As a reminder, if you are an AICP member and would like to receive 1.5 certification maintenance credits for attending today, please make sure you either signed in with your first and last name, or if there was a group of people in the room and any of them are applying for credits, type the names into the chat box. I encourage everybody to download the evaluation form and e-mail it to me after you have completed it.

The next seminar will be held on June 20 and will be about the Pavement Data Analysis Tool (PaveDAT) for overweight truck permit calculation. You can visit the Talking Freight website third from bottom bullet on the screen and register for that webinar now. I don't believe this webinar is on the AICP website yet, but I will send an e-mail once it is available.

Thank you, everybody, and enjoy the rest of your day.

Updated: 06/07/2012
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