Researchers from UT Arlington set out to quantify the economic impact of five major highway infrastructure projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; in a recent paper, the researchers say the methodology can be used by transportation planners to prioritize projects.
From the paper:
Among five DFW infrastructure projects, the new highway construction project (Loop 9 Corridor from US 67 to I-35E) provided the largest net benefit and benefit/cost ratio with the highest sensitivity of future truck VMT on the freight economic benefits. This is perhaps because a new highway construction project has a larger economic impact on the freight industry as well as the regional economy than other highway improvement projects. Also, constructing Loop 9 Corridor which will serve the greatest demand of truck freight among the other project segments is expected to largely mitigate truck traffic congestion and improve the total truck travel performance. Although the new construction project provided the highest benefit/cost ratio, the freight economic benefits of the new construction project are highly sensitive to the future truck VMTs. Therefore, it is significant to accurately estimate the future truck travel demand in the project segment and consider the sensitivity of freight economic benefits to the future truck travel demand for evaluating and prioritizing the freight-related infrastructure projects.