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FHWA > TPM > Resources > Evaluation and Economic Investment > Roadway Economic and Investment Analysis 101

Roadway Economic and Investment Analysis 101

Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Asset Management, in cooperation with the FHWA Division Office, is offering to State and local governments a free, one-day workshop on the use of economic analysis tools to support highway decision-making. Economic analysis tools can be very helpful in evaluating highway investments. They can reveal whether a project's transportation benefits exceed its costs, when best to undertake the project, and what is the most cost-effective means of implementing it. In addition to covering important economic concepts, the workshop includes hands-on training on the FHWA's new web-based benefit-cost analysis tool, BCA.Net.

Intended Audience: The workshop is appropriate for anyone interested in the application of economic analysis to the planning, design, and implementation of highway projects. Potential participants include the managers and staff of the State Highway Agency, the FHWA Division Office, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, private industry, and academia. Typically, the workshop accommodates up to 15 participants. If sufficient demand exists, more than one session of the workshop can be offered. Prior training in economic analysis is not required to benefit from the workshop.

Location and Subjects Covered: The workshop is presented at a training facility site selected by the State or local government. The training facility should be equipped with an Internet-connected computer for each participant, or should have a wireless link to the Internet that can be accessed by the participants' own laptop computers. The workshop begins with an explanation of some of the fundamental concepts used in the economic analysis of highway projects (e.g., inflation and discounting) and proceeds to an explanation of economic analysis methods, especially life-cycle cost analysis and benefit-cost analysis. The workshop also reviews the use of traffic forecasts, risk analysis, and economic impact analysis in the economic analysis process. The workshop concludes with two and a half hours of interactive training on the BCA.Net benefit-cost analysis tool. This tool can be readily applied to a broad range of highway investments.

A typical workshop agenda

8:30 to 8:45 am Introduction: The Goals Of The Workshop And The Role Of Economic Analysis In Highway Decision Making
8:45 to 9:30 am Economic Fundamentals: Treatment Of Inflation And Discount Rates
9:30 to 10:00 am Economic Analysis Methods: Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
10:00 to 10:10 am Break
10:10 to 11:00 am Economic Analysis Methods: Benefit-Cost Analysis
11:00 to 11:30 am Traffic Forecasts and Risk Analysis
11:30 to 12:00 pm Economic Impact Analysis: Employment And Business Consequences Of Highways
12:00 to 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 to 2:00 pm Introduction To The BCA.Net Benefit-Cost Analysis Tool
2:00 to 2:10 pm Break
2:10 to 3:20 pm Further Applications of BCA.Net
3:20 to 3:30 pm Conclusion/Questions & Answers
Updated: 02/21/2013