Travel Costs Associated with Flood Closures of State Highways near Centralia/Chehalis, Washington

This report discusses the travel costs associated with the closure of roads in the greater Centralia/Chehalis, Washington region due to 100-year flood conditions starting on the Chehalis River. The costs were computed for roadway closures on I-5, US 12, and SR 6, and are based on estimated road closure durations supplied by WSDOT. The computed costs are only those directly related to travel that would otherwise have occurred on the roads affected by the flooding closures.

The computed costs do not include the economic losses associated with delayed delivery of goods or services, losses in economic activity attributable to travelers being unable to reach their intended destinations, or economic losses associated with the loss of goods because they could not be delivered. The reported costs do include the added costs of time and vehicle mileage associated with available detour routes. Costs were also estimated for each trip that will be abandoned. That is, this study estimated the number of trips that will not be made as a result of road closures.

The researchers also conducted a sensitivity analysis of the findings for the I-5 cost computation. Sensitivity tests were conducted for the value of time, the speeds and level of congestion assumed to occur on the routes used for detours, the values associated with trips that are not made via the expected detours, the percentage of personal trips made for work/business purposes versus those being made for personal reasons, the fraction of cars and trucks willing to detour, the effects of flood closure during the weekend or the summer, and growth in traffic volumes on I-5.
Publication Date: 
Monday, September 1, 2014
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 832.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:42
Authors: 
Mark Hallenbeck, Anne Goodchild, Jerome Drescher.
Originator: 
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Number of Pages: 
69
Subject: 
Travel costs, Floods, Service disruption, Highway operations, Traffic diversion, Detours, Traffic delays, Cost estimating, Freight and passenger services, Freight and passenger traffic, Travel time, Value of time.