Assessment of Transportation Costs With an Emphasis on Emissions and Their Impacts Along IH 35: A Focus on Public Health, Climate, and Sustainable Mobility




Obinna, Justin E.

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Transportation serves as a cornerstone of modern society, fulfilling the Texas Department of Transportation's vision of "connecting you with Texas" by facilitating the movement of people and goods across extensive distances. Yet, the genuine cost of transportation surpasses the visible expenses of tickets, fuel, or infrastructure. To gain a comprehensive grasp of transportation's full cost, it is imperative to scrutinize its multifaceted implications on public health, climate change, and the carbon footprint. This analysis delves into these dimensions, with a specific emphasis on emissions, shedding light on their contributions to the broader societal and economic expenses of transportation.Our examination focuses on a critical corridor: IH 35, stretching from north of FM 1976 in San Antonio to just north of Austin's city limits, beyond Wells Branch. This section typifies the emissions potential within the national highway system. Interstate Highway 35, the central socio-economic lifeline connecting San Antonio and Austin, stands as the most congested artery within the city limits of these major urban city centers. This 1,561-mile corridor spans from Laredo, Texas, to London Road (Highway 61), concluding in Duluth, Minnesota, adjoining Highway 61, which then extends about 150 miles to the Canadian border. It rightfully serves as a key international passageway, linking the Republic of Mexico and the Republic of Canada through the United States.The high demand for corridor utilization primarily stems from economic activities, supplemented by recreational usage on weekends. The discernible discordance between supply and demand, entailing an intrinsic economic elasticity, forms the crux of traffic congestion, ultimately giving rise to emissions. This thesis's central focus elucidates emissions as a prominent subset of the comprehensive transportation cost.



Economic elasticity, Carbon footprint, Economic expenses



Civil and Environmental Engineering