For the Virginia Department of Transportation's Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, EBP (previously EDR Group), in collaboration with Michael Baker International and Renaissance Planning, led this multi-agency study involving state and regional partners in Virginia.
The purpose of the study was to assess the adequacy and economic impact of regional connections linking Lynchburg and the rest of Central Virginia. Connectivity is broadly defined to physical infrastructure such as roadways and broadband capacity as well as social and institutional connections that influence the competitiveness of the business community.
EBP led efforts to develop specific, quantifiable linkages between the region’s economy and its multimodal transportation system. The study identified opportunities for improving intra- and inter- regional connectivity. It also addressed workforce attraction and retention issues and the role of supportive communications infrastructure. EBP lead the following analytical phases of the project: 1) characterize the region’s traded industries, 2) define the role of connectivity infrastructure in the regional economy, 3) identify current constraints and potential connectivity improvements, 4) quantify the economic impacts of proposed transportation system improvements using TREDIS® and supporting research.
The result of the study was a set of recommendations for integrating regional investments into the statewide transportation plan, paired with other improvements and strategies to be championed by local partners. This study provided a platform for making informed transportation investment decisions tied closely to their economic impacts. The study also addressed synergies between transportation investment and other economic development strategies as part of a concurrent, coordinated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) update.