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TRB releases report on resilience after natural disasters in transportation infrastructure

News | June 12, 2018 | By:

On June 11, 2018, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) released a prepublication, unedited version of “Synthesis 527: Resilience in Transportation Planning, Engineering, Management, Policy, and Administration” by Aimee Flannery, Maria A. Pena and Jessica Manns. The draft report documents resilience efforts and how they are organized, understood and implemented within transportation agencies’ core functions and services, including planning, engineering, construction, maintenance, operations and administration.

The information gathered details the motivations behind the policies that promote highway resilience, definitions of risk and resilience, and the relationship between these two fields. The report also explores how agencies are incorporating resilience practices through project development, policy and design.

Hurricane Maria near peak intensity, moving north toward Puerto Rico, on Sept. 19, 2017. Photograph courtesy The Naval Research Laboratory/NOAA

The report notes that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Research (SCOR) defined resilience as “the ability of the transportation system to recover and regain functionality after a major disruption or disaster.”

The findings of this draft report reflect information gathered through three primary sources: a literature review, a survey of state departments of transportation (DOTs) and five case studies developed through interviews with infrastructure agencies incorporating resilience into their programs. A review of national p

olicies found that while resilience policies are becoming well established, there lacks integration of resilience into practice within transportation.

To read the draft report, visit

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