Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Jiyoung Park, James E. Moore II and Qisheng Pan
Chapter 3: Bridge and tunnel closures (TransNIEMO)
In this chapter, we present an application of TransNIEMO, a model developed to address the neglect of infrastructure in Multiregional Input-Output (MRIO) models. This builds on the National Interstate Economic Model (NIEMO) that features in other chapters. TransNIEMO adds the nation’s highway network to accommodate intra- and interindustry trade. This new model achieves consistent highway network and economic equilibria. The US economy is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and modelling how disruptions at major choke points on the nation’s highways might impact the US economy on a state-by-state and industry-by-industry basis is a topic of particular interest. In our view, TransNIEMO is the only operational model that can be used for this type of analysis. While this chapter focuses on simulated attacks on three major choke points, disruptions from natural or man-made events on any other vulnerable highway link can easily be modeled. Perhaps surprisingly, as a proportion of the nation’s total output, the losses experienced in the three scenarios are relatively small. This reflects high levels of redundancy in the highway network. However, there are significant differences in both state-by-state and industry-by-industry impacts, and highway infrastructure (especially bridges and tunnels) are vulnerable to disruption or structural failure from neglect, natural or man-made disasters and the possibility of terrorist attacks, a major national concern.
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