Highway investment and economic development
Sweet, Matthias Nathaniel
MetadataShow full item record
Highway investment has been considered a highly important factor that enables regional economic development. By focusing on Georgia Highway 316 (GA-316), this study examines how highway investment impacts economic activity by changing accessibility patterns. This Atlanta-area highway is an interesting case study given Atlanta’s focus on creating accessibility by enabling high mobility through relatively ubiquitous road and highway networks. This project shows that even though GA-316 reduces area travel times, the primarily rural areas that most benefit from increased accessibility do not have associated increases in employment. Instead, GA-316 enables the continuation of existing development trends and economic activity is not redistributed into areas benefiting from improved accessibility. These findings demonstrate the need to question whether traditional notions of highway investment as stimulating economic development still hold in developed nations with advanced economies and relatively ubiquitous road networks.