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Prepared for:
Office of Natural Environment
Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty
Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

December 3, 2015

Prepared by:
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
U.S. Department of Transportation


The SAFETEA-LU directed states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to give priority to Cost-effective transportation projects, including diesel retrofits and congestion mitigation efforts that also produced an air quality benefit. The MAP-21 continues and expands the project selection focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The MAP-21 also calls for the development of cost-effectiveness tables (Tables) for a range of CMAQ eligible project types. These Tables are intended to assist States, MPOs and other project sponsors as they make the most efficient use of their CMAQ dollars in reducing on road vehicle emissions and traffic congestion.

These online materials provide information regarding the development of estimates of cost- effectiveness for a range of representative project types previously funded under the CMAQ Program. Topics addressed in the development of these Tables include: key limitations of the cost effectiveness analysis process; utilization of MOVES in determining emissions rates by criteria pollutant; and the selection of specific project types for analysis. The results of the relative cost analysis of CMAQ projects is displayed in bar charts by pollutant type in increasing order of project median cost. An aggregate table of summary finding displays a color coded display for all pollutants and all project types.


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

1. Report No.

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program

5. Report Date

May 2015

6. Performing Organization Code:

7. Author(s)

Puckett, S.M., Noel, G., Jackson, L., Marjoncu, E., Razo, M. and Reed, E.

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

U.S. Department of Transportation

55 Broadway Street

Cambridge, MA 02142-1093

10. Work Unit No.

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty Federal Highway Administration

1200 New Jersey Ave SE

Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

16. Abstract

This document presents summary and detailed findings from a research effort to develop estimates of the cost-effectiveness of a range of project types funded under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. In this study, cost-effectiveness was measured in terms of dollars per short ton of pollutant reduced. The estimates were generated to satisfy Title 23, Chapter 1, Section 149 of the United States Code, which mandates illustrative estimates of the cost-effectiveness of projects eligible for CMAQ funding.

This research offers separate cost-effectiveness estimates by each criteria pollutant and applicable precursor under the CMAQ program, including: carbon monoxide (CO) monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5).

This research utilized EPA s MOVES2010b (Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator 2010, Version B) model to identify emission impacts by criteria pollutant and applicable precursors. In this research, estimates of project-level impacts (e.g., VMT impacts, travel speeds) were combined with unit (e.g., per-mile, per-hour) emission rates from MOVES2010b to yield estimated emission impacts in lieu of using either direct estimates from projects or relatively outdated tools (e.g., MOBILE6.2, (Mobile Source Emission Factor Model)).

The analysis confirmed the presence of distinct levels of cost-effectiveness across types of projects and pollutants. Project types with estimated high cost-effectiveness include:

Heavy-duty vehicle idle reduction strategies (with high cost-effectiveness for all pollutants in the study);

heavy vehicle engine replacements (with high cost-effectiveness for all pollutants except for carbon monoxide);

diesel retrofit technologies (with high cost-effectiveness for PM2.5, PM10 and CO);

transit service expansion (with high cost-effectiveness for NOx, VOCs and CO);

park and ride projects (with high cost-effectiveness for NOx, VOCs and CO);

extreme-temperature cold start technologies (with high cost-effectiveness for VOCs and CO);

intermodal freight projects (with high cost-effectiveness for NOx); and

dust mitigation (with high cost-effectiveness for PM10).

17. Key Words


18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price

Approximate Conversions to SI Units
Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm
ft feet 0.305 meters m
yd yards 0.914 meters m
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2
yd2 square yard 0.836 square meters m2
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters mL
gal gallons 3.785 liters L
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3
NOTE: volumes greater than 1000 L shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams (or "metric ton") Mg (or "t")
Temperature (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5 (F-32)/9
or (F-32)/1.8
Celsius °C
fc foot-candles 10.76 lux lx
fl foot-Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2
Force and Pressure or Stress
lbf poundforce 4.45 newtons N
lbf/in2 poundforce per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa


Approximate Conversions from SI Units
Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
m meters 3.28 feet ft
m meters 1.09 yards yd
km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
m2 square meters 1.195 square yards yd2
ha hectares 2.47 acres ac
km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles mi2
mL milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
L liters 0.264 gallons gal
m3 cubic meters 35.314 cubic feet ft3
m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yards yd3
g grams 0.035 ounces oz
kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
Mg (or "t") megagrams (or "metric ton") 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
Temperature (exact degrees)
°C Celsius 1.8C+32 Fahrenheit °F
lx lux 0.0929 foot-candles fc
cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot-Lamberts fl
Force and Pressure or Stress
N newtons 02.225 poundforce lbf
kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2

* SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380. (Revised March 2003)

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Updated: 7/27/2020
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