Upgrading the N76 to a primary road?

This study maps the accessibility of the north-eastern region of Limburg (Bree, Kinrooi, Maaseik, Peer, ...) to the E314. In the Spatial Structure Plan for Flanders, the N73 was selected as the primary road access to the E314. The question today is whether the N76 is not better suited for this role.

Within this broader study, TML conducted a first “quick scan” social cost-benefit analysis. The goal was to establish whether it would be useful to upgrade the N76 to a primary road. We compared 1 project alternative with two variants with a reference scenario. The project alternative consists of a ladder shape in which the N76 forms a second North-South connection beside the existing N74. In the first variant (ladder 1) the N76 is upgraded to a primary road; in the second variant (ladder 2) the N76 is fitted with service roads for access to the adjacent houses. Other scenarios were not considered.

In this quick scan SCBA we primarily focused on:

  • Direct effects: the travel time gains for users following the construction of the project
  • External effects: the effects on emissions, noise, accidents and possible effects on the environment, heritage and monuments. Given the setup of the study and the information available, the possible effects on the environment, heritage and monuments are only taken up as a provisional post.
  • Investment- and maintenance costs  

The table below shows the result for a discount factor of 4%.

The final SCBA is negative for both project variants. The consumer surplus is higher than the investment and maintenance costs, but the increase in emissions, accidents and noise result in a net social cost. This increase in external effects should be attributed to the rise in vehicle km in the project area within the project scenarios.  


Final report

Complete 'quick scan' social cost-benefit analysis



funded by

Vlaamse Overheid, Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer - Wegen en Verkeer Limburg (Flemish Government)


Eef Delhaye


Vectris, Flow


Eef Delhaye

+32 16 74.51.22
reference: 10.58