Modal Shifts from the Mississippi River and Duluth/Superior to Land Transportation

Thumbnail Image

View/Download File

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Modal Shifts from the Mississippi River and Duluth/Superior to Land Transportation

Published Date





Proposals to close the Minneapolis Upper Harbor and convert the area to housing, light industry and recreational uses would eliminate the barge movement of commodities to/from the Upper Harbor. Several proposals have assumed that this would also eliminate associated freight movement through this area of Minneapolis. However, there would still be a need to move materials such as sand and gravel, cement, steel products, and other construction materials into Minneapolis, and scrap metals from Minneapolis. Truck movements of grain, fertilizer and other commodities from/to northwest of Minneapolis would be rerouted to downstream harbors. This study estimates the monetary and public externality costs imposed by this 'modal shift' from barge to truck, including haulage costs, differences in fuel consumption, changes in air emissions, highway congestion impacts, highway accident impacts, and changes in highway maintenance requirements. Coefficients from the FHWA Highway Cost Allocation Study (HCAS) are used to monetize the estimated public costs. Results from the most likely scenario indicate an addition of 66,000 truckloads traveling 1.2 million miles in the metro area each year. Increases in transport costs to shippers or customers exceed $4 million annually, while public cost increases estimated with the HCAS coefficients exceed $1 million annually.



Related to




Series/Report Number

Funding information

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Fruin, Jerry; Fortowsky, Keith J. (2004). Modal Shifts from the Mississippi River and Duluth/Superior to Land Transportation. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.