The National Academies

NCHRP 20-59(54) [Completed]

Transportation System Resilience: Research Roadmap and White Papers

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Funded under NCHRP 20-24(109)A
Research Agency: Geographic Paradigm Computing Inc.
Principal Investigator: Mr. David R. Fletcher
Effective Date: 11/18/2016
Completion Date: 9/30/2019

The objectives of this project are to develop a research roadmap and three white papers for senior executives on transportation resilience. Together with the resilience CEO primer and engagement activities developed under NCHRP Project 20-59(55), this series of products and activities will lead into and inform the research in NCHRP Project 20-59(117) that will culminate in a national summit and peer exchange on transportation resilience to be held in late 2018. Accomplishment of the project objectives will require at least the following tasks.
Task 1. Prepare three executive level white papers on special topics related to transportation resilience in support of the national summit on resilience included in the scope of work in NCHRP Project 20-59(117). See topics 1, 2, and 3, below. The three white papers should be written to a similar depth as “Understanding Transportation Resilience: A 2016-2018 Roadmap.”
Task 2. Develop a 5-year research roadmap for use in focusing the efforts of the transportation community in implementing a broad based program addressing a resilient transportation system. The work will inform, complement, enhance, and augment work and conclusions arising from NCHRP Project 20-59(117).
The white papers will address the questions: To be resilient in these areas, what can I do now? What should I worry about? Systems interdependencies and lifelines will be emphasized across all three white papers. White papers are pre-summit only; focused on specific actions; designed to initiate discussion; and may address some of the same topics as the CEO primer. The CEO primer is intended to guide specific actions. Both the white papers and the CEO primer have as their primary audiences state DOT CEOs and senior executives. The CEO primer should, in addressing topics such as those enumerated below, complement the three white papers that are anticipated to provide responsive overviews to the questions following the first three topics below:
  1. Cyber systems resilience (including unintentional effects such as space weather): What can a state DOT do now or worry about when it comes to resilient cyber systems with respect to critical functions, assets, networks, systems and people? 
  2. Economics (both ways), maintaining a viable tax base, using DOT purchasing power to help recover the local economy (economic function of resilience, national security): What can a state DOT do now or worry about when it comes to a resilient economy where a state DOT not only contributes to but benefits from a vibrant commerce environment? What are the functions, assets, networks, and systems that are enhanced through this resiliency?
  3. Sea level rise/extreme weather (climate change issues, uncertainty, non-urgent): What can a state DOT do now or worry about when it comes to creating resiliency against extreme weather and/or sea level rise, and how does that DOT harness and augment its functions, assets, networks, assets, systems, and people to sustain operations through changes in weather? 
  4. Earthquakes (including New Madrid and Northwest Subduction Zone)
  5. Choke points/single points of failure
  6. Human factors/COOP, succession planning
  7. Automated/connected vehicles
  8. Workforce development
  9. Drought/heat

For the purposes of this project’s construct, “functions” refers to the assignments, tasks, and positions in a state DOT that are critical to the performance of continued transportation service through any hazard or disruption; “assets” refers to the infrastructure, equipment, resources, tools, vehicles, hardware, roadways, tunnels, and facilities owned and operated by a state DOT to ensure the continued safe transport of goods and people through any hazard or disruption; “networks” refers to the relationships maintained by a state DOT with local municipalities, contractors, the private sector, and other branches of local, state and federal government to ensure continuity of transportation operations through any hazard or disruption; “systems” refers to the variety of critical technology platforms and applications, including all software utilities and electronic forms of data, utilized by state DOT personnel to operate assets and infrastructure, support functional continuity, and enable network communication and reliability through any hazard or disruption; “people” refers to the inherently necessary human resources and personnel needed by a state DOT to ensure transportation service is provided through any hazard or disruption.

Supplementary materials to the report include a Road Map Ratings and Rankings Workbook (Appendix B) and a Resilience Research Roadmap and White Papers Presentation.
The contractor's final version of “Understanding Transportation Resilience: A 2016-2018 Roadmap,” has been approved by the 20-59(14C) panel. A PowerPoint presentation was developed to present the roadmap and it has been published by AASHTO. It is expected that this roadmap will be of interest to those conducting research on transportation resilience issues. This roadmap also informs the work done in NCHRP Project 20-59(55) and NCHRP Project 20-117; the panel overseeing those projects (NCHRP 20-59) has full discretion to amend the roadmap as they see fit.
For the TRB Annual Meeting in January 2017, the contractor prepared two items:

Other useful resources for this project include:

Fundamental Capabilities of Effective All-Hazards Infrastructure Protection, Resilience, and Emergency Management for State Departments of Transportation (September 2015), AASHTO  https://scotsem.transportation.org/Documents/SCOTSEM/Fundamental%20Capabilities%20of%20Effective.pdf

Managing Catastrophic Transportation Emergencies: A Guide for Transportation Executives (September 2015), AASHTO  https://scotsem.transportation.org/Documents/SCOTSEM/Managing%20Catastrophic%20Transportation%20Emergencies.pdf

National Infrastructure Protection Plan (2006), DHS  https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/NIPP_Plan_noApps.pdf

Transportation Systems: Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Sector-Specific Plan as input to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (May 2007), DHS  https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/Transportation_Base_Plan_5_21_07.pdf

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction  https://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/sendai-framework


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