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Economics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 710282, 7 pages
Research Article

Understanding the Economics of Transportation Projects

1Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brigham Young University, 368 Clyde Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA
2Project Engineering Consultants, Inc., 397 W. 400 N., Payson, UT 84651, USA

Received 21 March 2012; Revised 1 May 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editor: Thanasis Stengos

Copyright © 2012 Grant G. Schultz and Jeremy E. Searle. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Understanding the economic impacts of transportation projects is essential for decision makers, officials, and stakeholders as they determine the best course of action for their jurisdiction. Economic impacts can guide decisions of future projects and help explain past economic fluctuations. This study uses an evaluative (ex-post) analysis process to assess the generative economic impacts of transportation projects after completion that can be used to identify the economic impacts of transportation projects while quantifying their relationship. Both pre- and postconstruction data were collected and used to compare the trends of sales tax revenue and employment numbers adjacent to transportation projects in Utah over a 10-year period. Plots of the trends before, during, and after construction for each project in the analysis were generated. A formal process was created for completing the analysis for future study. Results indicate that there is a positive relationship between transportation improvement projects and sales tax revenues. This relationship amounts to approximately a 4.0 percent increase in trends compared to the state overall. Employment demonstrated a 4.5 percent increase compared to the state overall. Although the results are not considered statistically significant, they are considered practically significant and add to the literature on this topic.