Skip to content
Version 1.3

Case Studies

Transportation agencies across the United States are using INVEST to evaluate and improve sustainability within their agency and on their projects.

Case studies focus on the general use of INVEST and its implementation and/or scoring practices. Some focus more on process/application, some focus on a few select criteria, some focus on the overall experience of using INVEST. Case Studies are developed by the agency which submits them, with review and input by FHWA.

Use the map and filters below to find case studies relevant to your projects and/or agency.

SSRPC - Visualizing Sustainability in the Historic Route 66 Corridor Project

Springfield, Illinois

Lead Agency: Springfield Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission (SSRPC)

INVEST Module: Project Development


 Download the SSRPC INVEST presentation (5,756 kb) or PPT (25,891 kb)

 Download the SSRPC Case Study (3,206 kb)

The metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for Springfield, IL applied criteria from the INVEST Project Development (PD) module to a corridor improvement project along the Peoria Road / Route 66 Corridor. This corridor includes the historic Route 66, the state fairground, the SHEA's Museum, transit service, and a mix of residential and commercial development. Using the INVEST criteria, planners identified improvements that could be made to the corridor that would enhance sustainability.

For instance, INVEST criterion PD-15: Historical, Archaeological and Cultural Preservation aims to protect or enhance cultural and historic assets. Installing interpretive signs and improving pedestrian access as suggested by the INVEST criterion could enhance the preservation and enjoyment of historic Route 66 and the museum (see Springfield MPO's artist renderings of these improvements in the figure below). The actions also improve linkage of Historic Route 66 with the State Fairground. The improvements would provide the project with three out of three available points under the INVEST PD-15 criterion.

As another example, INVEST criterion PD-10: Pedestrian Access aims to improve the safety and convenience of pedestrian networks for people of all ages and abilities by providing or enhancing facilities within the project footprint. Springfield MPO identified specific improvements at key locations, such as crosswalks and landscaping, and developed visuals showing the placement of these amenities. These improvements would provide two out of two possible points under the INVEST PD-10 criterion for improving pedestrian safety, comfort, connectivity, and aesthetics and environment.

The MPO held a workshop with stakeholder agencies in the region, including city officials and the state department of transportation. Planners explained how the INVEST tool measures sustainability and how it could be applied to the Peoria Road / Route 66 Corridor Improvement Project. They then showed visuals of each of the key criteria analyzed, outlining very clearly the requirements for receiving points, and showing where improvements could be made at specific locations along the corridor. Images demonstrated what that would look like and how it would improve outcomes in the corridor. Planners also showed before and after visuals with photographs depicting the corridor’s current status, and mock-ups depicting its appearance after installation of the sustainability improvements suggested by the INVEST criteria.

The MPO evaluated 23 of the 29 PD criteria. Examples of criteria highlighted in the evaluation and the corresponding improvements included in the conceptual design appear in the table below. Many of these improvements fall under the rubric of context sensitive solutions and complete streets.

The INVEST evaluation showed that if the sustainability improvements included in the conceptual design were implemented, the project would achieve the Gold or Silver level of the INVEST Basic Urban Project Development scorecard.

Key Outcomes of Using INVEST:

  • Developed a conceptual design showing locations for specific sustainability improvements. Improvements included streetscape design, crosswalks, lighting, accessible bus stops with shelters, public art entrance to state fairground, side path continuity across five-way intersection, improved pedestrian access to fairground and museum, ITS upgrades, and vegetation.
  • Demonstrated how the improvements would enhance the level of sustainability of the project as measured against a national benchmark.
  • Raised interest among stakeholders in implementing sustainability practices.
  • Communicated INVEST criteria effectively and concisely through a visual format.

Section of Route 66 showing current conditions (before) and mock-up with sustainability improvements (after)

Before. Section of Route 66 showing current conditions.

After. Section of Route 66 showing mock-up with sustainability improvements.

Go Back