Measuring the Benefits of Transportation Research in Utah
“It is important to measure the benefits of transportation research programs on a regular basis to determine if research budgets have been used effectively, and to maintain the support of management. The findings can better channel how future available funds are utilized. This study was initiated to estimate the benefits of UDOT?s research projects over a three-year period, estimate a benefit-cost ratio for the program, and provide feedback on the management processes used by the research staff.
The data gathered in this study indicate that the studies completed during the years 2006, 2007, and 2008 by the UDOT Research Program had an estimated benefit-cost ratio of 17. This included the results from 46 deliverables produced by 41 projects.
The highest benefits were achieved by studies on big ticket items, such as highways, bridges, traffic control devices, and right-of-way. Safety related studies also show significant benefits.
UDOT should continue to use innovative techniques to reduce the negative impacts of construction on the public. Initiatives such as Innovative Contracting Methods, Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC), Access Management, and the use of Movable Barrier have been shown to have a high benefit. These benefits are in the form of reduced congestion, enhanced safety, and lower impacts to businesses.
Some champions interviewed indicted that specific project findings need additional implementation effort. These initiatives need continued support by the Research Division over time to obtain full benefits from the project deliverables.”