Economic Impact of Modernizing the New Haven Line

For the Connecticut Department of Transportation, EDR Group (now EBP), in collaboration with CDMSmith, performed an economic analysis of the proposed $5.3 billion replacement of the I-84 Viaduct in Hartford. The analysis is part of Let’s Go CT – the state’s transportation program for restoring and transforming Connecticut’s transportation system to support a strong and growing economy. Two types of analyses were conducted.

One method is a general assessment of the overall value of the Viaduct to users or travelers, and the other is more narrowly focused on the impacts on the economy. The first is a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) that compares the cost of replacing the aging Viaduct to the benefits to be gained by all users of a new I-84 facility in Hartford. The second is an Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) that measures the impact of the I-84 Viaduct on the state’s economy – most importantly on business sales and output. Both analyses show the viaduct is a valuable transportation and economic asset that cannot be allowed to deteriorate without imposing huge costs on travelers and causing major losses in business sales and output.

The analyses that were conducted as a worst-case scenario intended to gauge the potential economic losses to the region if the Viaduct deteriorates to an unsafe condition that requires closure. It assumes a decade of diminishing funding for repairs resulting in deterioration and then closure in 2026. Both the BCA and EIA for this worst-case scenario clearly demonstrate that the benefits of replacing the Viaduct far outweigh the cost of constructing a new facility.