Economic Development

Economic Development It has long been recognized that highway construction and improvements to the highway network can positively influence economic development. Such improve- ments can increase accessibility and thus attract new industries and spur local economies. To be sure, measuring the economic development impacts of specific highway projects is not an easy task because such measurements must be made in the context of regional and national economic trends. Still, the effect that highways can have on economic development is yet another example of the far- reaching economic influences of highway transportation.


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As energy demands fluctuate and supplies vary, and nations become increasingly concerned about environmental impacts, the role that highway transportation plays has come under close scrutiny. As a primary consumer of fossil fuels and a major contributor to air-borne pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, highway transportation is an obvious target for energy conservation and environmental impact mitigation efforts.