Evaluating the Sustainability of Roadway Redevelopment: Lessons Learned from Marcellus Shale Drilling

By Michelle Oswald Beiler and Victoria Caudullo.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 10, 2014 $US5.00

New developments in horizontal drilling methods have allowed for the previously untouched basin of energy called Marcellus Shale, spanning from northern Ohio and West Virginia into Pennsylvania and New York, to be explored. As a result, the Marcellus Shale drilling initiative has impacted townships due to the rise in traffic flow of heavy trucks commuting to and from drilling sites, increasing the overall transportation demand on roadways. However, drilling companies have contributed to the redevelopment of rural roads due to the responsibility in maintaining roadway conditions such as paving dirt roads, filling ruts, and widening roads, to enable safe truck travel. This research explores the sustainability of the redevelopment of rural roads as a result of Marcellus Shale drilling. A Project Evaluation Survey and a Pairwise Comparison Survey are used to identify sustainable practices for integration into these redevelopment projects, based on existing sustainable transportation rating systems. The results are synthesized and provide sustainable roadway redevelopment recommendations specific to Marcellus Shale projects. As the demand for drilling continues to rise, it is important to promote sustainable transportation practices for future redevelopment projects.

Keywords: transportation, sustainability, Marcellus Shale, decision making, performance measures

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 9, Issue 3, April 2014, pp.31-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 530.004KB)).

Dr. Michelle Oswald Beiler

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA

Michelle Oswald, a LEED AP and EIT, is an Assistant Professor in civil and environmental engineering at Bucknell University. She has completed her doctoral degree in civil engineering with a concentration in transportation engineering at the University of Delaware. She has also completed a Master of Arts in urban and regional planning as well as a Master in Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware, specializing in sustainable transportation planning. She received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Lafayette College. Her research is focused on sustainable transportation rating systems, climate change adaptation, and resilient transportation corridors.

Victoria Caudullo

Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, USA