Evaluating the Effects of the I-35W Bridge Collapse on Road-Users in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region

This study evaluates the effects of the I-35W bridge collapse on road-users in the Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area. The authors adopted the Twin Cities Seven-County travel demand model developed in previous research, re-calibrated it against July 2007 loop detector traffic data, and used this model to carry out an evaluation of economic loss incurred by increased travel delay in alternative scenarios before and after the bridge collapse. They conclude that the failure of the I-35W bridge resulted in an economic loss of US$71,000 to US$220,000 a day, depending on how flexible road-users in the system adjusted their trip destinations in response to the bridge closing. The authors also estimate that the major traffic restoration projects Minnesota Department of Transportation has implemented in quick response to the bridge collapse can save road-users US$9500-17,500 a day. This translates into a benefit-cost ratio of 2.0-9.0, suggesting these projects are highly beneficial in an economic sense. In this analysis, the use of a simplified, scaled-down travel demand model enabled the authors to carry out the analysis quickly and accurately, which could see its contributions in transportation planning under situations such as emergency relief and comprehensive design.


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  • Accession Number: 01354743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 11 2011 9:53AM