State departments of transportation (DOTs) increasingly focus on resilience as a key solution to the impacts of short-term events and long-term stresses, including climate change. The frequency and severity of damaging weather events, sea-level rise, wildfires, and other climate impacts are forcing state governments to seek more long-term solutions. Economic shifts, demographic changes, and other disruptions also cause state DOTs to adapt and modify their practices to accommodate uncertainty.
State DOTs need more/better tools and approaches to track resilience efforts, investments, and progress towards improving resilience of the transportation system. There is no clear standard for tracking goals, effectiveness, and outcomes of resilience efforts and past research does not provide a comprehensive approach to evaluate the effectiveness of policies, programs, project implementation, and other resilience actions from state DOTs.
The objectives of this research are to (1) identify and establish resilience performance measures for transportation agencies; (2) identify methods to incorporate resilience into DOT business; (3) develop resources to help state DOTs evaluate progress, identify gaps, and prioritize investments to improve resilience.
Currently, state DOTs may be asked to justify additional expenses on projects that improve the resilience of transportation projects even when these investments are forecasted to reduce long-term costs and disruptions. Having a consistent set of performance measures will accelerate the cost-effective use of resilience-related funds and incorporation of resilience into standard DOT practices and programming.