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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-170 [Anticipated]

Frameworks, Guidance, and Tools to Support Post-Implementation Evaluation of Transportation Projects

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Committee on Planning
Funds: $600,000
Staff Responsibility: Jennifer L. Weeks
Fiscal Year: 2023

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

State departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) have implemented robust performance-based planning and programming processes in their agencies in response to the federal requirements articulated in the 2012 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and other state and federal laws. According to the FHWA Performance-Based Planning and Programming Guidebook, there are three core elements of the performance-based planning and programming (PBPP) framework: strategic direction (establishing performance goals); analysis to identify the best means of achieving that direction; and programming the resources.

These elements are well documented in existing transportation planning and programming processes. This research will facilitate understanding a fourth element that focuses on implementation and evaluation of investments against the original strategic purposes. This element, which includes monitoring, evaluation, and reporting, is something that the transportation industry has struggled with. Since the PBPP process includes an aspect of a feedback loop that attempts to assess whether projects built actually delivered the performance predicted, the implementation and evaluation is a critical component that is not done on a regular basis.

The objective of this research is to provide a guide that provides needed frameworks and tools for transportation planners and analysts to better evaluate individual transportation projects and programs of projects. Evaluating post-implementation benefits provides a feedback loop to help ensure that information on the effectiveness of projects and programs informs future project selection and implementation. In addition, findings from post-implementation studies can help to identify the characteristics of a corridor or situation under which certain projects and program are most effective. Finally, results can be useful for communicating with the public and decision-makers about the benefits of strategies such as demand management and operational improvements, where projects and programs are often not as readily visible to the public.

These research results will be of primary interest to state DOT and MPOS, as well as offices responsible for performance and asset management, public engagement, and research. The guide and toolkit should be developed to be easily implemented by these offices, such as easy to use self-assessments, checklists, and methods and examples of effective practices.

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