Trucks & traffic


Ninety-three percent of aggregate is transported by truck. Trucks can move throughout most areas of an aggregate operation. They can be loaded quickly at points of origin and can dump or drop their loads unassisted at the destination. Trucks can deliver practically anywhere there is a road. From small pickups to rigs that carry 28 tons, trucks can be matched to requirements and, thus, make cost effective deliveries.

Generally, truck traffic is concentrated near an aggregate operation, and many trucks may enter or leave an aggregate operation every day the plant is operating. In rural areas, the trucks may have to navigate narrow, twisting roads to the construction site. Ultimately, truck traffic must intermingle with automobile traffic. Large trucks of any type, including those transporting aggregate, create the nuisances of noise and diesel exhaust as they pass suburban dwellings. Also, large trucks create a potential danger to motorists on local streets and highways. The environmental impacts and hazards of trucks can be minimized when the trucks are well-maintained and operated, and when automobile drivers yield reasonable space so that truck drivers can maneuver and stop safely. Trucks that haul aggregate are typically equipped with mud flaps and load covers to prevent loose material from being thrown from wheels and off of loads. Loads can be wetted to reduce dust. Paving quarry access roads, limiting the number of quarry entrances and exits, and wheel-washing procedures can minimize the amount of material tracked onto adjacent roads. Acceleration and deceleration lanes can be constructed at the entrance of the pit or quarry to improve the ability of trucks to enter and exit civilian traffic more smoothly, and delivery routes can be designed to minimize interference with neighborhood traffic.1

In 2015, Illinois lawmakers directed the state’s Department of Transportation (IDOT) to conduct an in-depth study of the impact of agricultural, manufacturing, mining, and other industrial operations in Bureau, DeKalb, Grundy, Kendall, La Salle, Lee, Livingston, Marshall, Putnam, and Woodford counties. The study will investigate, among other things, the impact of road use and potential traffic pattern disruptions by transporting sand. It will also consider potential road improvement plans to alleviate additional highway traffic caused by the expansion of existing and proposed sand mining operations. IDOT must present its findings to lawmakers by
January 1, 2017.2

1. (American Geological Institute, Aggregate and the Environment, http://www.americangeosciences.org/sites/default/files/aggregate.pdf​, accessed 12/11/2014)