Evaluating CMAQ Projects in Terms of Cost Effectiveness, Performance Measures, and Multi-pollutant Benefits

Focus Area

Air Quality


Air Quality




Under $99k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

The Congestion Management and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) has existed since 1991 providing benefits by reducing air pollution. This program has evolved over the years and will be entering a new phase shortly with the introduction of requirements for determining the cost-effectiveness of projects and for evaluating the value of projects in terms of the quantity of emissions reduced. This research project will examine the two criteria – cost-effectiveness and performance measure requirements – with the goal of developing a process that DOTs and MPOs can use to select projects with both financial and emission reductions benefits. The project will consist of three tasks: 1) review of the CMAQ Cost Effectiveness Tables and their use in measuring viability of projects 2) review of CMAQ Performance Measure requirements and their use is selecting projects 3) developing a process incorporating the findings from Tasks 1 and 2 that will easy the project selection process and increase the consistency of CMAQ fund utilization. This project can also examine the benefits of single pollutant reduction strategies versus multiple pollutant reduction strategies and how these relate to cost project cost-effectiveness and performance measures. This could also lead to a possible strategy of developing a “programmatic-type” approach for selecting projects incorporating both cost-effectiveness and performance measurements.

Urgency and Payoff

With the requirement that DOTs and MPOs are going to need to justify the successfulness of CMAQ projects in terms of cost and emissions reductions, this project could provide an important tool for assisting DOTs and MPOs in their CMAQ project selections process.

Suggested By

Kevin Black FHWA 410-962-2177

[email protected]