The Economics of Reducing the County Road System: Three Case Studies in Iowa, HR-242, 1986

(1986) The Economics of Reducing the County Road System: Three Case Studies in Iowa, HR-242, 1986. Transportation, Department of

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Abstract

This research project looked at the economic benefits and costs associated with alternative strategies for abandoning low volume rural highways and bridges. Three test counties in Iowa were studied, each 100 square miles in size: Hamilton County having a high agricultural tax base and a high percentage of paved roads and few bridges; Shelby County having a relatively low agricultural tax base, hilly terrain and a low percentage of paved road and many bridges; and Linn County having a high agricultural tax base, a high percentage of paved roads and a large number of non-farm households. A questionnaire survey was undertaken to develop estimates of farm and household travel patterns. Benefits and costs associated with the abandonment of various segments of rural highway and bridge mileages in each county were calculated. "Benefits" calculated were reduced future reconstruction and maintenance costs, whereas "costs" were the added cost of travel resulting from the reduced mileage. Some of the findings suggest limited cost savings from abandonment of county roads with no property access in areas with large non-farm rural population; relatively high cost savings from the abandonment of roads with no property access in areas with small rural population; and the largest savings from the conversion of public dead-end gravel roads with property or residence accesses to private drives.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Benefit cost analysis, Case studies, County roads, Networks, Reduction (Chemistry), Roads, Rural areas
Subjects: Transportation
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Research
ID Code: 16231
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2014 13:48
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2014 12:28
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/16231