Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Lazar Spasovic

Second Advisor

Athanassios K. Bladikas

Third Advisor

I-Jy Steven Chien

Fourth Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Fifth Advisor

Joyoung Lee


Increased global trade has promoted the importance of shipping industry and the introduction of mega-ships has created an opportunity to be more cost-effective. Because of this, the expected change in freight transportation influences the operating regimes and schedules at the port terminals. Trucks being the predominant mode of transportation used to carry the freight transport, there is a growing concern about the impact of trucks in the region. The problems are further expected to grow as the improvements to resolve them are hindered by funding shortfalls. Public agencies are therefore involved in developing comprehensive state freight plans that outline immediate and long-range plans for freight-related transportation improvements. However, for states to develop and implement investment policies that can adequately address challenges, there is a need for a policy framework that can evaluate the impact of freight. The lack of the framework makes it difficult for state/metropolitan planning organizations to implement investment strategies in the best possible way.

The proposed framework in the dissertation tries to fill the gap by developing a methodological framework, which can help agencies to evaluate multiple policies and their impact on local communities. Additionally, the framework can ascertain the magnitude of impacts that the infrastructure or policy in conjunction with the change in truck traffic might have on a regional level. The developed framework thus can help decision makers to prioritize policies that will benefit both public and freight transportation needs.

Three demand models are used in the framework, which is built on the principle of behavioral route choice and mode-choice assignment problem. The outputs from the demand models are further used to quantify the impact in terms of cost-benefit analysis. The dissertation includes a real-world case study demonstrating how the framework can be used to evaluate alternative policies and its impact on a regional level.

To this end, the developed framework in the dissertation addresses the research questions to present stakeholder's complex implications that policy can have on the region. It also answers the question of how much the change in truck demand affects the region regarding monetary costs such as safety, congestion, environment, and pavement damage. The research further provides an insight of the change in travel behavior as a result of policy decision and its effect on communities.



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