Prioritizing Highway Development Projects Based on Market Access in Appalachia

The objective of this study is to develop a method for prioritizing the implementation of transportation investment projects constrained by limited resources while dealing with interrelations among projects. This study considers transportation (travel time, vehicle operating, and safety costs) and economic impacts (accessibility to buyer–supplier market) of completing interrelated highway projects within an optimization framework. The goal is to determine the optimized sequence and schedule of projects to optimize a performance metric (consisting of transportation and economic impacts) subject to budget flow constraints. This problem can be formulated as a non-linear integer optimization problem that can be solved using heuristic search methods. The study proposes to integrate a user equilibrium traffic assignment model and the SHRP2 C11 market access analysis tool with a genetic algorithm (GA) to solve the optimization problem. The proposed methodology is applied to a large actual network located in central Appalachian region of the U.S., and numerical results are provided to showcase its real-world applicability. This study constitutes a useful framework for state planners and regional decision makers that can effectively guide the project prioritization process. Notably, prioritization with consideration of network effects and interrelations is feasible using the proposed framework. This can lead to well-informed decisions on the basis of both direct transportation and wider economic benefits while accounting for project interrelations.


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  • Accession Number: 01703731
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-03836
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 14 2019 10:35AM