Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory D. Erhardt


Transportation infrastructure improvement projects are typically huge and have significant economic and environmental effects. Forecasts of demand of the facility in the form of traffic level help size the project as well as choose between several alternatives. Inaccuracy in these forecasts can thus have a great impact on the efficiency of the operational design and the benefits accrued from the project against the cost. Despite this understanding, evaluation of traffic forecast inaccuracy has been too few, especially for un-tolled roads in the United States. This study, part of a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) funded project, bridges this gap in knowledge by analyzing the historical inaccuracy of the traffic forecasts based on a database created as part of the project. The results show a general over-prediction of traffic with actual traffic deviating from forecast by about 17.29% on an average. The study also compares the relative accuracy of forecasts on several categorical variables. Besides enumerating the error in forecasts, this exploration presents the potential factors influencing accuracy. The results from this analysis can help create an uncertainty window around the forecast based on the explanatory variables, which can be an alternate risk analysis technique to sensitivity testing.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This research is sponsored by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) project 08-110: Traffic Forecast Accuracy Assessment Research