Comparison Of The Big Dig Versus Kansas Highway Project Economic Case Study

1926 words - 8 pages

Running head: Comparison of The Big Dig versus Kansas Highway Project
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Comparison of The Big Dig versus Kansas Highway Project
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Comparison of The Big Dig versus Kansas Highway Project
A Case Study Analysis of How Traffic Congestion Impact on Economy
Bo Zhang
Fisher College
May 13, 2019
The Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T), as known as the Big Dig, was a megaproject in Boston that rerouted the Central Artery of Interstate 93 (I-93), the chief highway through the heart of the city, into the 1.5mile Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Tunnel. Boston had a world-class traffic problem. The Central Artery was an elevated highway running through the center of downtown. Back in 1960s, the central Artery carried about 75,000 vehicles a day. Expert predicted that in 1990s, it would carry up to 200,000 per day, make it one of the most congested highway in the US. Also, the traffic jam would be up to 16 hours per day causing many problems such as high accident rate, wasted fuel from traffic and late deliveries. The annual cost to motorists from this congestion was an estimated $500 million. Beside those traffic issues, the highway cut off the North End and Waterfront neighborhoods from downtown, let residents in those area not be able to take part in the city’s economic life (The Big Dig: project background, 2019).
To solve the problem, Massachusetts government’s solution was the Central Artery/Tunnel Project. The project has two parts. First, remove the six-lane elevated highway and replace it with a new 14-lane underground tunnel. Second, extend existing I-90 from south of downtown goes through a tunnel beneath South Boston and Boston Harbor to Logan Airport.
Similar problem happened in Kansas City, Missouri. To handle the traffic issue in the future. The Kansas Comprehensive Highway Program (KHCP) was passed by the Legislature in Spring, 1989. The KHCP was a major program of highway construction and contract maintenance for the state of Kansas which was administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). The program was directed entirely to some 135,000 miles of the Kansas State Highway System, which includes Interstate Highways, U.S. Highways, State “K”-Highways and their City Connecting Links (Burress, D & Oslund, P, 1999).
Budget given to KHCP was $2.6 billion, during the calendar year 1989 – 1996, the most important single effect of the KCHP was to collect around $3.1 billion in state tax revenues and spend it on highway costs, and also leverage an additional $1.1 billion in federal highway funds into the state of Kansas. By the 1996, the value of this time saving exceed $0.5 billion per year. In 1999’s value terms, the value of time saving for 1990-1996 was between $.8 billion and $1.5 billion. During that period of time, about $.85 million in travel-time benefits were realized per $1 million of direct and indirect costs expended on the KCHP (Burress, D & Oslund, P, 1999). Which means the benefit-cost ratio was 0.85. Also, the KCHP reduced...

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