AASHTO and FHWA will be hosting a series of webinars focused on the use and application of EconWorks, a collection of web-based tools designed to help planners incorporate economic analysis into early project decision making. EconWorks was developed under the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) and uses a case study approach to provide transportation practitioners at state DOTs, MPOs and other agencies with analytical tools they can use for program and project evaluation from an economic perspective. Beginning in April, and continuing with each even month, the webinars will focus primarily on training and tutorials and how practitioners can use the EconWorks tools. Additional webinars will showcase individual state DOTs and MPOs that have used the tools and have applied it as part of their overall transportation analysis program.
For more information about the webinar series, please contact Matthew Hardy, Program Director for Planning and Performance Management.
All webinars will take place from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET. Recordings will be made available on this website.
Please click on the underlined date below to register or to download the recording of previously presented webinars.
This webinar covered the background, features, and benefits of the EconWorks Case Studies and Wider Economic Benefits (W.E.B.) analysis tools and included a presentation from the Indiana Department of Transportation (DOT) and Purdue University on their experience using the EconWorks tools. As a SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program recipient, Indiana DOT worked with Purdue University to apply both the Case Studies and W.E.B. tools to transportation projects in their state. The presentation included an overview of economic analysis in the state and the process of how they utilized the tools, as well as conclusions and lessons learned.
This webinar described the EconWorks Case Study system. This system was designed to assist planners and policymakers in assessing the economic impacts of transportation investment projects. The webinar also described the tools developed for assessing Wider Economic Benefits that can be used to support Benefit Cost Analysis. The webinar began with a discussion of motivation for the original SHRP2 capacity projects that developed these tools. It then described how each of these products can be used and under what circumstances. This webinar was introductory in nature and did not require any special training or prior understanding of economic analysis or economic impact assessment methods. Subsequent webinars in this series will go into more detail on the use of each of the tools developed for EconWorks. Participants in this webinar came away with an understanding of how the EconWorks system can help planners and policy makers address important questions about the long-term economic effects of transportation investment decisions.
This webinar highlighted the effectiveness of the EconWorks Wider Economic Benefits (W.E.B.) tools in evaluating the Wasatch Front Central Corridor Study, projects to be added to the EconWorks Case Studies Database, experience using PlanWorks and how it connects to EconWorks and the EconWorks and PlanWorks applications in Utah. Jeff Harris of the Utah Department of Transportation presented. As a SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program recipient for both EconWorks and PlanWorks, Utah DOT successfully applied both tools to transportation projects in their State. The presentation included an overview of economic analysis in the State and the process of how they utilized the tools, as well as conclusions and lessons learned.
This webinar focused on the use of the EconWorks Case Study database and project assessment tools. The webinar showed how to use the case study database to understand and learn about the types of long-term economic impacts that have resulted from projects that have been constructed. The webinar also showed how to use the Assess My Project tool to evaluate economic impacts for projects being considered by users. The webinar reviewed the role of ex post analysis in the current state of the practice for project evaluation and explained how users can develop there own cases for inclusion in the EconWorks Case Study database. Participants came away with an understanding of how to use the EconWorks Case Study database and project evaluation system to assess the long-term economic impacts of transportation projects and programs.
This webinar explained how wider economic benefits can be considered in the context of traditional Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA). The primary topic covered in this webinar was the concepts behind market access effects, background into the development of the EconWorks Market Access tools, and examples of applying market access tools to specific situations. The webinar also showed how results obtained from the market access tools can be integrated into traditional BCA computations. Participants came away with an understanding of how market access effects of transportation investments can enhance traditional Benefit Cost Analysis.
This webinar highlighted background on wider Economic Benefits and Standard Traveler Benefits; the effectiveness of the EconWorks Wider Economic Benefits (W.E.B.) tools in evaluating projects studies for MPOs; decision-making implications for MPOs using the tools; benefits and limitations of the tools for MPOs; and future use of the tools for both agencies. Featured Speakers included Grant King and Brett Piercy from Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) and Richard Perrin and Cherry Xiong from T.Y. Lin International, consultant on Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) EconWorks project.
This webinar explained how wider economic benefits associated with improved reliability and connectivity can be considered in the context of traditional Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA). Concepts behind reliability and connectivity effects associated with transportation infrastructure investments were reviewed. Background into the development of the EconWorks reliability and connectivity tools were discussed, and examples of applying each of these tools to specific situations were reviewed. The webinar also showed how results obtained from both the reliability and connectivity tools can be integrated into traditional BCA computations. Participants came away with an understanding of how consideration of reliability and connectivity effects of transportation investments can enhance traditional Benefit Cost Analysis.
The EconWorks system was designed to support robust public outreach and discussion. The system can be used in “real time” to answer questions about the economic impacts of proposed projects by illustrating how transportation investment decisions can be used to create economic opportunities in the long-term, including new jobs and an improved tax base. It can also be used to show how non-transportation investment decisions and policies can leverage transportation investments. Examples of how EconWorks can be integrated into the planning process, how it can be used to show policy makers a range of options for concurrent investment decisions, and how it can be used as part of a public outreach program to explain the economic importance of transportation investments will be included in this webinar. Participants will come away with an understanding of how analysis and examples provided through the EconWorks system can improve communications with a wide range of stakeholders.