Performance Measures for Evaluating Multi-state Projects

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Primary Investigators

Teresa Adams and Ernie Wittwer
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 EH
Madison, WI    53706
(608) 263-3175


This work will build upon performance measured being identified and used for multi-state alliances and interstate corridor projects. This includes, but is not limited to, the Northwest Passage and Lake Michigan Interstate Gateway Alliance activities. The project will explore the transferability of the performance indicators across different multi-state efforts and recommendations for establishing performance measures for multi-state freight projects.

It will also use the work being done for AASTHO on possible national reauthorization measures to define measures that are appropriate for regional freight projects.

The measures themselves and the problems associated with finding good and consistent data across the region will probably be very similar to the measures and the problems being considered by AASHTO in looking at national measures. Speed, reliability and safety will likely rise to the top of the attributes to be measured. Rendering measures of those attributes in economic terms may also be a common challenge. Therefore, working with those in AASHTO who are doing this national work makes much sense.

What may set this regional effort apart is the need to define impacts in regional terms and attribute those impacts to specific states, or regions within states.


Development of freight-focused performance measures for multi-state corridor projects.


  1. Identify advisory committee/work group from the freight and performance measurement experts of the region.
  2. Gain approval of the research scope and plan
  3. Assemble full research team.
  4. Coordinate efforts with ongoing studies of the American Transportation Research Institute and development of performance measures for the I-70 dedicated truck lane corridor
  5. Coordinate with the AASHTO effort.
  6. Study of literature, existing data sources, and existing work on transportation megaprojects and corridor-focused activities.
  7. Review existing modeling tools and how they might be used to understand the regional network and model impacts of freight projects.
  8. Review standard public data sources on commodity flows that might allow the origins and destinations of vehicles using freight facilities to be better understood
  9. Compile comprehensive list of performance indicators used for various multi-state alliances and interstate corridor projects.
  10. Propose performance measures for these types of large freight infrastructure systems.
  11. Propose methods for modeling regional impacts.
  12. Suggest data sources for both the measures and the analytic tools.
  13. Convene working group in face-to-face meeting in a convenient city to review draft measures and suggest changes and methods for testing those measures
  14. Refine measures for evaluating the projects and processes for collecting and analyzing data.
  15. Test the evaluation tool with data and projects from three states
  16. Document the results in both a technical report and a report to the users.

Project Information

  • Duration: 10 months
  • Dates: March 1, 2009 – December 31, 2009
  • Budget: $73,333
  • Student Involvement: None
  • Modal Orientation: Multimodal
  • Project ID: MVFC 11
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