MERIC NEWS LETTER

MoDOT Partners with MERIC

Economic development and transportation often go hand in hand. Improved transportation networks do not guarantee economic growth, but they can foster it. Conversely, increased economic development in an area can create the need for better transportation services. There is a definite, meaningful connection between economic growth and transportation networks.

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) is working in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to better understand how economic growth and improved highway networks affect one another. Information from this research will be used to help the departments plan and invest funds, as well as show what type of return the state is getting on its transportation investments. The findings will also be used to determine how transportation projects affect local areas and citizens.

MERIC is utilizing innovative research tools to analyze the local-level impact of transportation systems. For example, the combination of Local Employment Dynamics (LED) data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis can help determine transportation routes and commuting patterns. In addition, detailed business location data, state-of-the-art economic modeling and advanced GIS analysis can show localized development impacts that may be missed when simply analyzing conventional industrial and economic data.

Although these new economic data sets are still evolving, MERIC and MoDOT are helping lead the way in this innovative research. In years to come this new economic data will help show the impact that improved transportation systems have on local economic growth.

Two reports from this partnership are already available. Reports on the proposed Mississippi River Bridge and MoDOT's Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) can be found on both the MoDOT and MERIC websites.

MoDOT Economic Impacts

MERIC Transportation Studies                                            

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