Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 49-01. Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects

The United States freight transportation network is one of the great strengths of the country. The system moves 55 million tons of goods worth more than $49 billion each day. In addition, freight supports 44 million jobs. Yet, the dynamics of freight movement are changing, driven by factors such as e-commerce and global demand. Planning, programming, implementing and maintaining adequate freight infrastructure remains a challenge for transportation agencies. As state departments of transportation (DOTs) integrate freight prioritization processes into agency practices and increase efficiency in addressing these considerations, many are also seeking guidance and resources that demonstrate effective approaches. As a result, there is substantial opportunity to share and leverage effective practices within various areas of freight investment analysis and methodology from across the country. Freight investment project prioritization approaches increasingly underpin planning and programming decisions. However, these approaches can differ widely by State DOTs. The objective of this research project is to synthesize existing freight project prioritization practices. Information to be gathered will include, but not be limited to: (1) What freight assets do State DOTs own? (2) How do State DOTs prioritize investments for those facilities? (3) How are agencies prioritizing freight projects within a broader multimodal prioritization framework? (4) What data sources are being used in the prioritization process? What data gaps exist? (5) How are agencies incorporating freight performance measures into the prioritization process? (6) What is the decision making process? What are the factors influencing the prioritization? (7) How are agencies organized to support freight investment decisions (e.g. agency leadership and staff, internal/external committees and agencies, coordination across modes, timing)? (8) What institutional barriers are State DOTs facing when integrating freight into the project prioritization process? Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of State DOTs, and no less than six concise case studies that highlight different freight project prioritization approaches. The product of this research will be a report that provides an overview of the current state of freight investment prioritization and methodology. As well, this study will identify gaps in project prioritization practices, gaps in knowledge, and research needs. 


  • English


  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 49-01

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Williams, Jon

  • Start Date: 20171016
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41605

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01634817
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 49-01
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 17 2017 1:01AM