Professional support on the cost-benefit analysis of the «S.S.51 – Variante di Cortina» project
A new bypass in the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo (Belluno) is foreseen as part of the infrastructural improvements promoted by Anas S.p.A. in the Veneto region, Italy, and particularly in the areas hosting the XXV Winter Olympic Games in 2026.
The project consists of a road bypass alternative to the current route formed by state roads no. 51 «di Alemagna» and no. 48 «delle Dolomiti», which currently pass through the city centre. It aims at lightening the traffic flow crossing the city by moving it towards a different journey – mostly in a tunnel -, thus improving traffic smoothness and the liveability and attractiveness of the popular mountain resort, which enjoys a rich and vibrant tourist market in both winter and summer.
TRT developed the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project according to the most recent guidelines of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Transport and socio-economic benefits – such as time savings of passengers and goods, as well as a reduction in accident costs – were identified and quantified in monetary terms, and confronted with construction and periodic maintenance costs.
Based on results obtained from the economic model, properly discounted over time, the usual indicators for socio-economic returns were computed, i.e., the Economic Net Present Value (NPV), the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and the benefits-costs ratio (B/C).
A sensitivity analysis related to the most critical variables was run, along with the computation of the IRR’s switch values (i.e., the values of individual variables that alone turn the NPV to the negative side).
Finally, aiming at valuing the safeguarding of a landscape and touristic asset such as the Italian Dolomites, the analysis was accompanied by a qualitative assessment of the project’s non directly monetizable benefits. These include a higher usability and accessibility of the city centre as a consequence of lower congestion, higher transit speed for extra-urban traffic in case of adverse weather conditions, as well as an increase in road safety thanks to a route running mostly in a double-barrel tunnel.