In 2013, the
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) requested NORC to prepare a methodology for evaluating the outcomes of the construction of the Henri Konan Bédié (HKB) Bridge in Côte d'Ivoire. The Bridge in Abidjan was opened in December 2014, and connects the island of Petit-Bassam, the original center of Abidjan, with the commune of Cocody. The HKB Bridge was expected both to reduce travel time between Cocody and the island and to provide some degree of relief of congestion elsewhere in Abidjan. It was also expected to provide financial benefits to the stakeholders, to ensure that project affected people (PAP) were treated fairly, and to provide evidence of the benefits of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to potential investors.
In 2013, FMO requested NORC to prepare a methodology for evaluating the outcomes of the construction of the HKB Bridge in terms of: 1) economic benefits to road users, 2) vehicle emissions resulting from changes in traffic flows, 3) impacts on stakeholders; and 4) the future potential for PPP. To this end, NORC collected data at baseline (just before the Bridge's opening in late 2014) and at midline in 2016 through traffic counts on selected roads, origin-destination surveys at bridge sites, travel-time surveys, and HDM-4 models. The assessment of the impacts on shareholders and on the potential for PPP was made in the baseline, midline, and endline in 2018, using a mixture of analysis of relevant documentation and interviews with key informants (KIIs). The impacts on PAP were evaluated as part of the 2018 endline, through surveys with the affected households, a review of the relevant documentation, and KIIs.
Quasi-experimental methods were used to estimate the impact of the HKB Bridge on traffic patterns, time savings, fuel consumption, and emissions by comparing treated road segments likely to be impacted by the opening of the HKB Bridge to comparison (similar) segments statistically matched but unaffected by the new bridge. The evaluation considered four treatment groups: 1) cross-lagoon segments, 2) old bridges, 3) spillovers, and 4) overall treatment (average of prior three). Key informant interviews on PPP sustainability and a survey of displaced residents on compensation were also conducted.
NORC found that the opening of the HKB Bridge led to additional trips, significant time savings, and reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. NE to SE trips increased by 102% between baseline and midline, and NE to SW trips increased by 60%. Daily trips across the entire Abidjan network saved an average of 63,380 hours of driving time. Fuel consumption on the core network fell by 10% for a savings of 5.5 million liters of fuel, while lead emissions dropped by 10%. NORC's confirmation of incomplete compensation to residents displaced by the bridge has led to renewed donor action on the government.