Transport infrastructure (TI) has become one of the primary drivers for sustainable economic growth and social progress. However, a wider take-up is currently inhibited in fast developing regions (FDRs) by many barriers, which have not been explored explicitly in previous studies. In this study, a three-dimensional framework (i.e., macro environment, local environment, and the construction process) is proposed to structure the barriers in a reasonable way. Professionals’ opinions on the importance of the barriers are collected through questionnaire survey. The survey results were analyzed by the ranking analysis technique. It is found that the top five barriers are “difficulty in survey and design during the construction process”, “weak support from economy”, “insufficient funding”, “harsh regional climate”, and “cost overrun”. Further analysis, based on a factor analysis, indicates that these critical barriers could be grouped into three clusters: “administration on transport infrastructure”, “construction technology and cost management”, and “geographical and economic conditions”. The research findings demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed framework, and the implication is that a barriers-based checklist favors stakeholders to improve the efficiency and sustainability of TI development in FDRs. Although the study is situated in China, it sheds light on the subject in other developing countries.
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