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Impact of HB-1481 on Indiana's highway revenue generation, asset degradation, modal distribution, and economic development and competitiveness.
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Impact of HB-1481 on Indiana's highway revenue generation, asset degradation, modal distribution, and economic development and competitiveness.
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    The Indiana House Enrolled Act 1481 (HEA‐1481) requires that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) delivers the HEA‐1481 study by 

    December 31, 2014. This will precede the adoption of final rules for the issuance, fee structure, and enforcement of permits for overweight 

    divisible loads; a fee structure of permits for loads on extra heavy duty highways; and a fee structure of permits for overweight loads. On 

    December 26, 2013, INDOT adopted the Emergency Rules regarding these items, as required by HEA‐1481, which became effective January 1, 

    2014. HEA‐1481 requires INDOT to use the results of this impact study to inform the setting of the final rules. Three different fee structures were 

    considered: Pre‐HEA‐1481 fee structures that were in place prior to HEA‐1481; Interim Policy fee structures that were in place between June 1, 

    2013 and December 31, 2013; and the Emergency Rules that took effect January 1, 2014 and superseded the above two fee structures. INDOT 

    commissioned this study to evaluate the impacts of overweight divisible load permits on revenue, asset consumption, alternative transportation 

    modes, and Indiana’s economic development and economic competitiveness relative to other Midwestern states.  

    The results of the analysis indicate that overall, the overweight commodities divisible permit structure arising from HEA‐1481 is not expected 

    to dramatically change the consumption of Indiana’s pavement and bridge assets, but it will lead to a slight increase in the revenue collected per 

    permit  and  a slight  decrease  in the  gap  between  consumption  and revenue. However, the  gap between revenue  and  consumption  is still 

    significant: for the pre‐HEA‐1481 and the Emergency Rule periods, the consumption‐revenue gaps were estimated as approximately $33 million 

    and $30 million, respectively. From an operations standpoint of mobility and safety, it was estimated that HEA‐1481 will have an ambiguous 

    impact due to the twin but opposing effects of traffic impairment and trips reduction associated with overweight vehicles; the net effect depends 

    on the prevailing  characteristics of the traffic stream and extent of overweight  loading. Also, using  FHWA’s Intermodal Transportation and 

    Inventory Cost (ITIC) analysis tool, it was found that HEA‐1481 will lead to little or no shift in the modal share across truck and rail but a significant 

    shift across the specific configurations of vehicles used in trucking operations. HEA‐1481 is expected to increase the economic competitiveness of 

    trucking operations in Indiana compared to the pre‐HEA 1481 era, and in some cases, compared to other Midwestern states. Finally, HEA‐1481 is 

    expected to increase economic development at least in the long term by reducing the cost of transporting commodities by highways, an essential 

    expenditure item of many major businesses in Indiana.  

    Overall, HEA‐1481 is expected to help protect the highway bridge and pavement infrastructure by providing incentives for less‐damaging 

    loading behavior, reduce the gap between revenue and consumption, increase the economic competitiveness of trucking operations relative to 

    other states, and provide a more industry‐friendly environment for increased economic development in the state of Indiana. 

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