Social Return on Investment as a Metric to Prioritize Use of Accelerated Bridge Construction in Rural Regions
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Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques have a great potential to minimize the traffic disruptions during the bridge repairs/replacements, promote traffic and worker safety, and improve the overall quality of the built bridges. Despite the major advances in design and construction of ABC techniques, transportation agencies are still hesitant about using ABC techniques largely due to perceived risks during construction and higher initial costs. Furthermore, the current decision process used to prioritize the candidate bridges for this type of construction is oftentimes solely based on metrics such as the average annual daily traffic (AADT). This paper proposes to use a metric employed by the World Bank to prioritize funding for aid in developing countries: social return on investment (SROI). SROI will measure the value of investment in ABC techniques to reduce social, economic, and environmental impacts to the road network users. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) completed the replacement of more than 500 bridges as part of the “Safe and Sound” project using the ABC techniques. This paper considers five counties, mostly with agricultural demographics in the state of Missouri, as the case study and estimates the SROI of the utilization of ABC. The results show that SROI provides a holistic measure to incorporate the socioeconomic aspects in the prioritization of the bridges that could benefit from ABC techniques.
This paper was peer-reviewed by TRB and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. It can be cited as: Barutha, Philip J., Ning Zhang, Alice Alipour, and Douglas D. Gransberg. "Social Return on Investment as a Metric to Prioritize Use of Accelerated Bridge Construction in Rural Regions." Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, (2017). Posted with permission.