Webinar: Overview of Operations Benefit Cost Analysis and Demonstration of the FHWA Tool for Operations Benefit Cost Analysis



FHWA emphasizes analysis and performance management as integral elements for 1) the systematic process to develop and select maintenance and operations (M&O) strategies to meet objectives and 2) system performance monitoring and evaluation. As part of this effort, FHWA provides tools and resources related to benefit-cost analysis (BCA); one such resource is the Tool for Operations Benefit-Cost Analysis (TOPS-BC), which is a sketch-planning level decision support tool intended to provide guidance to transportation practitioners in conducting BCA for a wide range of Transportation System Management and Operations (TSMO) strategies. The purpose of this webinar

Webinar Agenda

  • BCA introduction overview
  • Introduction to TOPS-BC: demonstration and tutorial
  • Using TOPS-BC: create a tailored BCA for a project of your choosing

Learning Objectives

· Provide an opportunity for State DOT representatives to learn more and ask questions about the tool

· Demonstrate sample analysis, providing a real-world perspective to the session.


Jim Hunt, FHWA, Jim Hunt is a Transportation Specialist in the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Operations where he develops guidance and leads research in the Planning for Operations, Operations Organizational Business Practices, Performance Based Practical Design, and Active Transportation and Demand Management Programs. Previously Jim served as the ITS / Operations Engineer for FHWA in the Pennsylvania and Virginia Division Offices and also worked as a consultant supporting the National ITS Architecture program and several state and local ITS planning projects. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Hofstra University, an M.S. in Transportation Planning from Iowa State University, and is a registered P.E. in Virginia. Jim Hunt is a Transportation Specialist in the FHWA Office of Operations. He manages projects related to Operations Planning and Design, Organizing for Operations, and Active Transportation and Demand Management. Jim holds a B.S. in Engineering from Hofstra University, an M.S. in Transportation Planning from Iowa State University, and is a registered P.E.

Michael Lawrence, Jack Faucett Associates, Michael Lawrence is an economist who specializes in the development and application of economic analysis tools to be used by planners, operators and engineers in the transportation policy and planning process. He developed the versions 2.0 and 3.0 of TOPS-BC for the FHWA Office of Operations. He developed the Safety BCA Guide and Excel Tool for the FHW Office of Safety. He has completed over a hundred BCA and Economic Impact studies for state, regional and local government agencies for transportation, energy, environmental, and flood protection projects throughout the country. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in economics and finance from the University of California, Berkeley. He is President of Jack Faucett Associated, Inc. (JFA).

Stephanie Palmer, Michigan Department of Transportation, Stephanie Palmer is the region’s Traffic Safety and Operations Engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), University Region. She received her Bachelors of Science and her Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and is a registered professional engineer in Michigan.
Over the past 20 years, Stephanie has worked in both the private and public sector, specializing in traffic engineering and operations. In 2005, she joined MDOT where she is the region’s lead traffic engineer responsible for traffic safety, signal operation and maintenance, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and work zone operations. Recently, she was the project manager for the ITS system for an Active Traffic Management (ATM) system for the US-23 Flex Route project in Ann Arbor, the state’s first ATM which involves dynamic lane and shoulder use, a queue warning system and a variable speed advisory system.

Matt Hansen, California Department of Transportation, Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation and System Information, Freight Research Project Manager

Born and raised in San Diego California, Matt graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from San Francisco State University and began working for the California Department of Transportation. Matt has worked as a transportation engineer for 30 years in various functional areas. He has been working in his current position in Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation and System Information in 1994. He now manages freight-related research projects which currently includes Smart Truck Parking, Truck Platooning and Freight Industry Adoption of Alternate Fuels. In the past he has work on concepts such as Feasibility of using BART to Move Air Freight, Virtual WIM and Compliance Stations and Automated Highway Systems.

Operations Area of Practice

  • Cost / Benefit Analysis

Organizational Capability Element

  • Economic Analysis of Reliability/Costs and Benefits

Event Type

  • Webinar

Content Type

  • Best Practice

Publishing Organization

  • NOCoE


  • Learning
  • Networking

Document Downloads

Project Website

View webinar recording on NOCoE YouTube Channel

Issue Date
August 14th, 2018
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