Wim Wiewel, Joseph J. Persky and Mark Edward Sendzik
Wim Wiewel is Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Joseph J. Persky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mark Edward Sendzik is a Ph.D candidate specializing in public policy analysis.
This study examines the cost-effectiveness of the Evansville-to-Bloomington portion of the proposed new Interstate 69 highway in Southwest Indiana in fulfilling its stated purpose of stimulating economic development in four rural Indiana counties. We compare the proposed highway with other rural economic development programs and strategies such as rural enterprise zones, federal economic development programs, business incubators, and local industrial development groups. In addition, we use a variety of state cost and job creation estimates, cost calculations, and comparison figures. Although this study does not take a position on whether the proposed new highway should be built, we conclude that if the purpose of the I-69 project is economic development in these rural counties, far more cost-efficient alternatives almost certainly exist.