New Project: MnDOT Haul and Detour Routes – Impacts on Local Roads

When local roads are temporarily used as haul roads or as detour routes, MnDOT compensates local agencies. However, local agencies believe the compensation model is outdated and inadequate, especially for local roads not built for large volumes of heavy vehicles. The methodology also has not been updated to reflect that local agencies have invested more local property and sales tax revenue into their systems beyond the gas tax.

Currently, the MnDOT determines compensation based on gas tax income generated by the truck highway traffic detoured onto a local roadway. Local agencies would like an updated model that considers the amount of damage done by detoured traffic.

Tim Stahl, county engineer, Jackson County, summarized the need for this research project: “Numerous Minnesota counties and cities have experienced issues with local roads being used for DOT haul roads and detours. The basis of these problems may be a result of a policy that was developed in 1991 and is still applied today. The current Local Road Research Board study with Michigan State will evaluate the problem using recent road engineering and science.”


As part of this study, researchers will compile past and current methods of determining compensation for using local agency roads as haul and detour routes. An examination of practices used by other states will be included. Then researchers will work with stakeholders to develop a web-based tool that state, city and county agencies can use to assess road life consumed and to determine equivalent compensation.  

Project Details

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation to subscribe.

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