Semester of Graduation



Master of Civil Engineering (MCE)


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Document Type



Evaluating economic impacts of past transportation infrastructure investments on communities can benefit future decision-making. This research considered Louisiana’s Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program as the case in examining the economic impacts of six TIMED projects (which are lane expansions) on communities. Based on literature and data source review, this study used the following indicators to reflect economic impacts: population growth, employment growth, and aggregate household income growth. These indicators presented a growing trend in most of the cases, particularly during and after the construction period. The study continued to identify the factors that are statistically significant in influencing the economic outcomes. The research used two modeling approaches to reveal both linear and non-linear associations: logistic regression and random forest. These analyses considered TIMED project characteristics, built environment attributes, and sociodemographic characteristics of communities as independent variables in model estimations. The results revealed that the six studied projects are more likely to have positive economic impacts on distant communities compared to closer communities. Meanwhile, communities with lower projects density are more likely to observe positive economic impacts. An increased probability of economic growth in areas with more White populations was also observed. Conversely, an area with a higher proportion of populations below the poverty line was less likely to observe population/employment growth. These findings suggest that transportation agencies should explore alternative project types beyond lane expansions in promoting local economic growth and pay attention to the economic impacts on under-represented communities for equity concerns.



Committee Chair

Hassan, Hany

Available for download on Saturday, April 03, 2027