Disaster Recovery for Transportation: China's Wenchuan Earthquake of 2008 and Japan's Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011

Two major countries in East Asia have recently experienced catastrophic natural disasters: the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan province in the People's Republic of China, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake/tsunami in eastern Japan. Each severely disrupted transportation infrastructure and services. Given the need both for emergency transportation to bring assistance to survivors and begin the task of reconstruction and recovery and for restoration of regular transportation service, the governments of both countries gave significant priority to the large task of restoring and/or reconfiguring transportation infrastructure and operations in the disaster-affected regions. This project examines decision-making and implementation of policies to restore transportation. It gives particular attention to the tension between simply replicating infrastructure/services that previously existed and using the opportunity of the disaster to rethink the nature of the transportation network and operations in order to make choices appropriate for current and future needs in the region. In doing so, the project will consider the politics of transportation decision making, including contention over a vision of the region's future, among different stakeholders and between local and central government policy makers; the economics and budget issues in restoring infrastructure; and the operational and management challenges of transportation recovery. Where appropriate, comparisons will be made to parallel experiences in the United States, as described in the professional literature.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $200000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    New England University Transportation Center

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 40-279
    Cambridge, MA  United States  01239
  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33370

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489798
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, HVDR24-12
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2013 1:02AM