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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Economic & Job Impacts of SDDOT Construction
Project Researcher: Amiy Varma,
Project Manager:
Research Period: -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Congress, the federal Administration, the state legislature and other state agencies occasionally inquire what effect highway construction investments will have on the states economy. At present, the Department uses the Regional Input-Output Model System (RIMS II), developed by the US Department of Commerce, to predict long-term impacts. But RIMS II generalizes employment, earnings and output for all types of construction, not just transportation-related construction, and does not distinguish between regions within the state. Likewise, the reliability of the Departments estimate of short-term impacts, which is based on quick telephone surveys of contractors, is unknown.

Reliable indicators of economic impacts of transportation investment are needed to improve the Departments ability to provide prompt, credible responses to these inquiries. The indicators should relate the short- and long-term effects of highway construction activities: grading, structures, highway surfacing and resurfacing on employment, personal income, gross state product, earnings, output, and other important economic indicators.


Research Objectives:
1  To identify useful economic indicators and suitable methodology(ies) for assessing the short- and long-term effects of highway construction investments.
2  To compute factors relating transportation construction expenditures to various short- and long-term economic indicators?such as employment, personal income, earnings, gross state product, value added, or output?by construction type and geographical
3  To compare computed factors to factors obtained from RIMS II models.
4  To identify potential applications of the methodology for analyzing the impact of construction and operation of other transportation modes.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Review and summarize the state of the art and application of economic modeling for transportation purposes.
3  Recommend appropriate economic indicators, methodologies, and geographical regions to analyze and describe the short- and long-term economic effects of various highway construction activities in South Dakota, and describe their applicability and limi
4  Collect raw data and apply the recommended economic models for urban and rural analysis areas in distinct geographical regions of South Dakota.
5  Compute, by use of the economic models, factors relating transportation investments to economic indicators in South Dakota.
6  Compare factors derived by economic modeling to standard factors derived from the US Department of Commerce's RIMS II model.
7  Identify applications of the methodology for analyzing the impact of construction and operation in other transportation modes, including air, rail, and transit, in South Dakota.
8  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
9  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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