The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 49-01 [Final (Synthesis)]

Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/2/2017 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Tanya M. Zwahlen
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Mario Monsreal
Effective Date: 10/16/2017
Completion Date: 9/10/2019
Fiscal Year: 2017

Freight investment project prioritization, which is used to assist in planning and programming decisions, differs widely in importance across states. One of the reasons for the difference in importance is the fact that freight projects are costly, and state departments of transportation (DOTs) face limited resources to implement them. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Synthesis 542: Prioritization of Freight Investment Projects identifies the state of the practice of freight project prioritization and common steps across all state DOTs in the nation. State DOTs have a variety of motivations for freight project prioritization, including the FAST Act. For DOTs to receive additional federal funding, a priority list of freight projects must be produced. However, because the FAST Act regulations do not include a specific methodology to help DOTs rank their freight projects, many different processes are used by the state DOTs for ranking. This report synthesizes the available literature on the subject so that DOTs creating a prioritization process can identify successful practices in the current state of the practice.

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