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Economic Impact of Widening I-70 in Columbia, Missouri

By Economic Development Research Group with Anderson Economic Group for the City of Columbia, Missouri, 2005

The economic development consequences of highway improvements can be very different when viewed from a local perspective and a state perspective. A case in point is the widening of I-70 in Missouri, which can have important consequences for improving traffic flow across the state but also lead to business displacement and local access changes. Sometimes, design changes can optimize the situation for all parties.

To address these concerns, the City of Columbia, Missouri hired EDR Group to examine the economic implications of alternative concepts for the widening and reconstructing of I-70 through the city. These included proposals for widening the four-land freeway to six-lanes, with various alternatives for realignment or reconfiguration of frontage roads, interchange designs, access and collector/distributor routes. The analysis by EDR Group evaluated likely business impacts in the corridor during and after construction. This included implications for displacing 51 existing businesses and reconfiguring access for many other area businesses along the "probable project footprint."

The analysis included a detailed supply vs. demand analysis of business activity and land development in the city. In addition, the city's net job/business revenue impacts were analyzed by type of business. EDR Group also provided recommendations for strategies to mitigate adverse impacts, identified development opportunities, and assembled a strategy for attracting development along the completed I-70 facility. Anderson Economic Group assisted in the project analysis.

News article, Columbia Business Times, August 2006

Executive Summary, Final Report (PDF)

Final Report (PDF)


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