For the Virginia Department of Transportation's Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, EDR Group (now EBP), in collaboration with Michael Baker International and Renaissance Planning, engaged in a multi-agency collaboration involving state and regional entities in Virginia. The connectivity study was designed to assess the adequacy and economic impact of regional connections linking Lynchburg and the rest of Central Virginia. Connectivity is broadly defined to include a range of physical infrastructure such as roadways and broadband capacity, as well as social and institutional connections that influence the ability of the business community to access the skills they need through the region’s workforce.
EBP led efforts to develop specific, quantifiable linkages between the region’s economy and its multimodal transportation system. This includes identifying opportunities for improving intra- and inter- regional connectivity, identification of workforce attraction and retention issues, and assessing the role of supportive communications infrastructure. This study was developed to provide a platform for making informed transportation investment decisions that are tied closely to their economic impacts. The study also addressed potentially beneficial synergies between transportation investment and other economic development strategies related to physical or social infrastructure that is part of a concurrent, coordinated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) update.
EBP developed the data and methods necessary to characterize the region’s traded industries, defining the role of connectivity infrastructure in the regional economy, identifying current constraints and potential connectivity improvements, quantifying the economic impacts of proposed transportation system improvements using TREDIS®, and developing a set of recommendations for integrating regional investments into the statewide transportation plan.