Metrics we need: claim that an expensive and lengthy construction project will cut delays 50%

With the unveiling of the reconstructed Jane Byrne Interchange in Chicago, this promise was made:

Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

Illinois Department of Transportation engineers are promising a 50% improvement in traffic delays as the interminable Jane Byrne Interchange rebuild wraps up…

It’s estimated the redo could save more than $180 million hours annually in lost productivity from workers in traffic jams and result in a one-third reduction in greenhouse gases.

Can we start tracking this immediately and see if the promise is true?

With numerous major projects facing longer-than-predicted timelines and significant cost overruns, perhaps this is a way forward in marketing. Ignore the extra time and money; it will be worth it!

At the same time, why not use similar metrics for all sorts of infrastructure projects? Infrastructure is needed for many areas of modern life to go well. Yet, people may not want to endure construction or costs. Promises like this at least fix a number on what people might experience as a positive outcome. And if the modeling is so difficult, does this mean that it might be hard to justify a big project? (I could imagine a different number that is also accurate but less negative: without this project, there will be this % of a negative outcome.)

2 thoughts on “Metrics we need: claim that an expensive and lengthy construction project will cut delays 50%

  1. Pingback: The changed traffic patterns in the Chicago region | Legally Sociable

  2. Pingback: A hub-and-spoke highway system in the Chicago region leads to more traffic | Legally Sociable

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