The National Academies

NCHRP 20-59(33) [Completed]

Pre-Event Planning to Support Transportation Infrastructure Recovery

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: Synthosys LLC
Principal Investigator: Patricia Bye
Effective Date: 1/29/2010
Completion Date: 11/30/2012

Large-scale or extreme events can cause long-term disruptions in the use of transportation infrastructure. In the “prepare-respond-recover-mitigate” emergency management phases, “prepare” is most often linked to the “respond” phase.  Pre-event planning typically focuses on the immediate “respond” objectives of safety, preserving life, mitigating consequences, continuing operations, and re-establishing essential services. During the past several years, it has become clear that certain pre-event planning to support “recover” phase operations can and should be conducted and procedures developed that can increase the efficiency of post-event recovery; this is termed “recovery planning.”  Beyond regaining operational use of infrastructure as soon as possible, extreme events can also offer an opportunity to address long-standing problems through upgrades or relocation of infrastructure—if the owner has planned for such an opportunity. Research is needed to provide a framework for recovery planning that addresses the areas of legal and environmental compliance requirements; permitting; contracting; facility design; rapid/emergency solicitation processes; accessing federal funding; damage assessment documentation requirements; procedures; forms; acquisition of outside subject matter expertise; and other items found during research that can assist pre-event planning to support recovery of mission-essential transportation infrastructure.
 The objective of this research is to develop a guide that provides pre-event recovery planning principles, processes, tools, and appended resource materials for use by planners and decisionmakers in pre-event planning to support transportation infrastructure recovery.
 (1). Analyze, describe, and critique pertinent domestic and international research (including review of after-action reports, lessons learned or observed, and best practices) to determine the extent to which infrastructure owners and operators conduct pre-event recovery planning. On the basis of applicability and usefulness, develop findings that can enable transportation infrastructure owners, operators, and funders (e.g., Metropolitan Planning Organizations, state DOTs) to conduct pre-event recovery planning. (2). Develop case studies drawing on information developed through site visits at a representative cross section of infrastructure owners and operators to establish the state of practice of pre-event recovery planning. The range covered by the case study examples should include typically private sector infrastructures (e.g., rail, telecommunications, and pipeline) and typically public sector infrastructures (e.g., roads, bridges, and public transportation). Case study sites or organizations should be identified for their usefulness in developing a range of principles, processes, and tools for transportation recovery planning. (3). Develop (a) processes for identifying mission-essential, locally at-risk transportation facilities and (b) a high-level decision process for deciding whether over the long term mission-essential transportation facilities should be replaced, upgraded, or relocated following an event in which they are damaged or destroyed.  (4). Develop processes for identifying procurement procedures, legal and environmental compliance requirements, materials, labor, equipment, and expertise necessary to facilitate the timely recovery of previously identified transportation facilities. (5). Develop tools for managing and tracking identified procedures, assignments, compliance, and other activities for the processes produced in Task 3 and Task 4. These may include decision trees, programs, flow charts, matrices, and checklists for facilities, systems, areas, etc. (6). Develop an annotated list of support appendices proposed for inclusion in the final report. Appendices could include examples of (a) staffing plans, (b) funding options, (c) materials acquisition, (d) specialized equipment, (e) design, (f) contractor resources, (g) internal and external expertise, (h) interested government agencies, (i) linkages to related infrastructures (e.g., co-located pipelines and telecommunications cables carried on a bridge), (j) software tools, (k) duties of recovery planning staff, and (l) memoranda of understanding to facilitate communication and coordination for recovery planning and execution. (7). Develop a guide that provides pre-event recovery planning principles, processes, tools, and the Task 6 annotated list of appendices for use by planners and decisionmakers in pre-event planning for and post-event execution of transportation infrastructure recovery activities. (8). Prepare an interim report summarizing the results of Tasks 1 through 7 for review by the NCHRP project panel. Include a plan for developing selected items in the Task 6 annotated list of proposed appendices.  (9). Revise the guide and develop the appendices based on panel comments received during the interim meeting.  (10). Submit deliverables that document the entire research effort, including (a) a stand-alone guide with appendices and (b) a PowerPoint presentation suitable for use by panel members and others in describing the research and for posting on the NCHRP project website.
STATUS: Complete. Published as NCHRP Report 753: A Pre-Event Recovery Planning Guide for Transportation. A PowerPoint presentation describing the project that developed the guide is available.

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