University of Iowa

Transportation Infrastructure Impacts of Frac Sand Mining Industry

Academic Year 
2014-2015
College/Department 
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Project Partner 

To estimate the impacts and maintenance costs of the frac sand mining industry on roads and bridges, transportation engineering faculty and students reviewed literature on similar case studies, evaluated the properties of the materials of pavement materials, and used design software to analyze the impacts of increased truck traffic for Winneshiek County.

Winneshiek County sought to evaluate the potential impacts of the frac sand mining industry on its secondary roads and bridges. Of particular interest was the effect of truck traffic on roads and bridges in areas of potential mining or along transport routes. Based on the results of their research, the class recommended three options for maintaining transportation infrastructure in Winneshiek County.