Understanding the economic impacts of transportation projects in Utah is essential for decision makers, officials, and stakeholders as they determine the best course of action for the state. Economic impacts can guide decisions of future projects and help explain past economic fluctuations. This study develops a process that can be used to identify the economic impacts of transportation projects in Utah and quantify the relationship between transportation and these impacts. Accomplishing the objectives of this study are a product of: 1) performing a comprehensive literature review, 2) collecting data and establishing analysis methods, 3) completing a statistical analysis and breakdown into project type and expenditure values, 4) conclusions and recommendations, and 5) providing possible avenues for future research to further the understanding of the economic impacts of transportation projects in Utah. This study uses an evaluative (or ex post) analysis to assess the generative economic impacts of transportation projects after completion. Both pre- and post-construction data were collected and used to compare the trends of sales tax revenue, employment creation, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) around transportation projects in Utah over the last 10 years. A plot of the trends before, during, and after construction for each project in the analysis was generated. A formal process was created for completing the analysis for future study. The results of this study 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. The VMT analysis showed no statistical difference between the pre- and post-construction trends. This study has prompted several recommendations intended to help UDOT better understand the economic impacts of transportation projects in Utah. Although this analysis provides a strong foundation, and outlines a process to analyze economic impacts from transportation projects in Utah, additional studies need to be completed.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Searle, Jeremy E., "Understanding the Economics of Transportation in Utah" (2010). All Theses and Dissertations. 2431.
economic impacts, transportation, projects, sales tax, employment, VMT