Evaluating the Performance of Intermodal Connectors in Arkansas

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the performance and usage of Intermodal Connectors (ICs) in Arkansas. ICs serve as the critical ‘first and last mile’ segments of the National Highway System (NHS) by connecting airports, marine and river ports, and intermodal facilities to the NHS. ICs play a critical role in the movement of multi-modal freight such that congestion on the IC can have cascading effects on the reliability multi-modal supply chain. ICs are officially designated through by state Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) based on federal criteria. Designation implies eligibility for federal funds to support improvement projects. Unfortunately, considering the significant impact ICs have on efficient multi-modal freight movements, ICs are not currently well monitored, nor is their performance well understood. This limits the transportation planning and programming efforts for ICs. Adding to the lack of understanding are the limited tools available for collecting data on these links. Commonly used data collection tools which rely on in or on pavement installations do not work well for ICs which tend to have poor pavement quality due to heavy truck volumes. With the increasing availability and affordability of non-obtrusive technologies such as radar sensors, Bluetooth tracking devices, and truck Global Positioning Systems (GPS), the ability to collect comprehensive data on ICs is increasingly possible. The proposed work will develop a traffic sensor bundle that is capable of providing high quality data for ICs including truck travel times, speeds, and truck characteristics such as commodity carried or industry served. To do this, the research team will compare various non-intrusive sensor technologies and develop truck classification algorithms that will then be deployed to the three nationally designated ICs that connect river ports to the NHS in Arkansas. Data collected at these locations will be used as case studies highlighting the unique performance and usage patterns found on ICs. Additionally, sensor data will be used to evaluate the performance of routes used to access intermodal port facilities that are not officially designated as ICs.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

    4190 Bell Engineering
    Civil Engineering
    Fayetteville, Arkansas  United States  72701

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Start Date: 20160822
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01608042
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 26 2016 11:14AM