Are US cities and regions overbuilding roadway in the post-Interstate era?

This research project examines a series of interwoven questions about how, where, and why state and federal governments finance and construct large arterial and highway projects and whether the benefits of these projects tend to outweigh their financial, social, and environmental costs. Answering these questions will contribute to a larger inquiry into whether US cities, metropolitan areas, and megaregions have too much roadway. The focus is on large arterial, highway, and freeway investments, where most urban travel occurs and where state and federal investment policies have the largest influence on travel behavior, economic development, and urban growth. Although aspects of the research will touch on transit investments, which are particularly well studied, the benefits of transit depend largely on the state of road infrastructure in US urban areas. The first major research task will review public documents and congressional testimony to examine how, where, and why state and federal governments finance and construct large arterial and highway projects. The emphasis is on roadway construction since 1992, shortly after the completion of the interstate highway and the signing of federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which announced a major departure from earlier roadbuilding practices. The next research task will examine two or more case studies of nationally notorious road investments, such as the Big Dig in Boston and the bridge to nowhere in Ketchikan, Alaska, that made headlines as a sign of wasteful spending during the 2008 national elections. The third research task will develop metropolitan-level empirical analysis of the existing roadway system.

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $41731
    • Contract Numbers:

      69A3551747135

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Stearns, Amy

    • Performing Organizations:

      Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2)

      University of Texas at Austin
      Austin, TX  United States  78712
    • Principal Investigators:

      Guerra, Erick

    • Start Date: 20210201
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01764458
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2)
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747135
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Feb 4 2021 6:05PM