Report Says Transportation Projects Would Grow Virginia’s Economy

Posted: February 2, 2011 at 11:16 am, Last Updated: February 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

By Andy Brown

Completing major infrastructure projects, such as the I-495 HOT lanes, would expand Virginia’s economy by $4.1 billion and support 56,798 additional jobs, according to research conducted by Stephen S. Fuller, University Professor in the School of Public Policy and director of Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis.

The research, supported by a contract from Virginia’s secretary of transportation, calculated the post-construction impact of 16 proposed “megaprojects” in Virginia, which are major infrastructure projects including the building of commuter express lanes, tunnels and other transportation improvements.

The $4.1 billion figure takes into account the financial impact to Virginia’s economy, including the value of goods and services produced by the improvements, as well as workers’ personal earnings and job creation.

Fuller found that the benefits generated by the transportation improvements exceed the costs and could generate an additional $2.9 billion in new taxable earnings to Virginia’s income base.

“Our research shows that the proposed transportation investments will increase Virginia’s competitive position for future economic growth,” says Fuller.

If in place today, the report shows that the transportation upgrades would improve traffic flow and reduce congestion costs, resulting in a reduction in transportation costs within the state’s economy. The upgrades would also increase labor force efficiency by recapturing lost work time due to traffic delays and reduce vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.

The full report “The Impact of Sixteen Proposed PPTA Mega Projects on the Commonwealth of Virginia Economy” is available online.

Write to mediarel at