A Model of Bridge Choice Across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis
On September 18, 2008, a replacement for the previously collapsed I-35W bridge opened to the public. Consequently, travelers were once again confronted with the opportunity to find better alternatives. The traffic pattern of the Minneapolis road network was likely to readjust, because of the new link addition. However, questions arise about the possible reasons (or components in the route choice process) that are likely to influence travelers crossing the Mississippi, who had to choose among several bridge options, including the new I-35W bridge. A statistical model of bridge choice is specified and estimated employing weighted-least squares logit, and using Global Positioning System (GPS) data and web-based surveys collected both before and after the replacement bridge opened. In this way, the proportion of I-35W trips can be estimated depending on the assigned values of the explanatory variables, which include statistical measures of the travel time distribution experienced by the subjects, alternative diversity, and others. The results show that travel time savings and reliability were the main reasons for choosing the new I-35W bridge.
This study was supported by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (2008-130 Value of Reliability and 2009-248 Value of Reliability Phase II) and the Minnesota DOT project “Traffic Flow and Road User Impacts of the Collapse of the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River.” We would also like to thank Kathleen Harder, John Bloomfield, and Shanjiang Zhu.
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