The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority recently released a two-volume report on the economic impact of the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project, also known as the “ Big Dig.” A major construction venture – one of the biggest infrastructure financing deals in the U.S. – the Big Dig took 14 years to complete, marked by the opening of all associated tunnels, bridges and ramps in January 2006.

Among the study’s findings:

– Improvements to the Metropolitan Highway System are providing approximately $168 million annually in time and cost-savings for travelers.

– Based on known projects developed, in construction or proposed, additional housing, office, retail and hotel development is expected to attract over $7 billion in private investment and over 43,000 new jobs in the area.

– The Big Dig project has resulted in a 62% improvement in traffic flow – exceeding expectations.

In a Turnpike Authority press release, chairman Matthew Amorello refers to the project as “an unbelievable engineering achievement,” and says, “We’ve delivered to Boston a whole new future.”

The Economic Impacts study examines this future by analyzing the effects of the Big Dig project on Boston communities and suburbs. The comprehensive report shows how changes in traffic volume, patterns and efficiencies have and will affect transportation in and around Boston, resulting in significant economic development and revitalization in the area. The Executive Summary includes fascinating “before and after” photos of the project, along with a detailed timeline of transportation development dating back to the 1880s.