Empirical Economic Impact Studies
Economic Impact projections are great tools for estimating the future effects of highway changes. They are, however, estimates only, based on the best available information.
On the other hand, empirical studies gather economic activity numbers before a project takes place, and compares them to numbers gathered after the project is complete.
Below are links to a number of empirical studies done on the affects of creating a bypass with a state highway. These are real world historical numbers, not projections. They tell an interesting story. They show that, in most cases, while fear of damage to existing businesses by a highway bypass is understandable, it seldom comes to pass after the project. In fact, in most cases the post project impact is positive. Getting trucks and a small percentage of the traffic out of the downtown can make it a more welcoming and pleasant place to walk, shop, eat, and just spend time.