A Guide for the Preservation of Highway Tunnel Systems

In 2008, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Highway Subcommittee for Bridges and Structures approved a resolution for a tunnel definition: "Tunnels are defined as enclosed roadways with vehicle access that is restricted to portals regardless of type of structure or method of construction. Tunnels do not include highway bridges, railroad bridges or other bridges over a roadway. Tunnels are structures that require special design considerations that may include lighting, ventilation, fire protection systems, and emergency egress capacity based on the owners determination." Every year, significant public funds are needed to inspect and maintain tunnels that were not designed to be easily inspected and maintained. Nevertheless, well planned preventive maintenance is a cost-effective strategy to keep tunnels safe and operational. Tunnel preservation includes actions or strategies that prevent, delay, or reduce deterioration of tunnel systems (preventive maintenance), restore the function of existing tunnels (repair or rehabilitation), and keep tunnels in good condition and extend their useful life. Often practitioners apply preservation strategies on the basis of judgment or common sense using available resources. However, it is difficult to translate these strategies into coherent and convincing arguments that will lead to support for aggressive and well planned programs of highway tunnel preservation. These programs may be inadequately funded due to absence of a creditable, quantitative basis for measuring effectiveness. The objective of this research is to develop a guide for possible adoption by AASHTO that will (1) assemble a catalog of highway tunnel preservation actions; (2) quantify the benefits of tunnel preservation actions; (3) provide decision-making tools to optimize tunnel preservation actions; and (4) develop a method to determine appropriate levels of funding and staffing to achieve agency selected goals and performance measures. The guide shall cover tunnel systems that consist of the tunnel and its applicable structures, drainage systems, mechanical systems, electrical systems, lighting, security, signs, incident detection systems, overhead vehicle detection systems, traffic management systems, information management systems, and miscellaneous appurtenances within the tunnel. The guide will be applicable to the preservation of existing tunnels and to preservation planning during the design of new tunnels, in urban and rural areas. Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following phases: PHASE I--Preservation Actions That Impact Highway Tunnel Systems - Deliverables in this phase shall include the following: (1) A critical review of existing technical literature, pertinent international and domestic scans, and NCHRP research projects. In addition, the review should include owner and industry practices related to tunnel operation and maintenance for at least two major tunnels in the states; the FHWA Tunnel Operations, Maintenance, Inspection and Evaluation (TOMIE) Manual (Chapter 3--Maintenance); and other research findings from both foreign and domestic sources. (2) A catalog of highway tunnel systems preservation actions. (3) Metrics that can be used to analyze the effectiveness of preservation actions considering when and which action to apply and the impacts of applying or delaying an action. (4) A proposed method, for further analysis in Phase II, to prioritize preservation actions according to the identified metrics. (5) A proposed method to determine appropriate levels of funding and staffing to achieve agency selected goals and performance measures. (6) A detailed outline for the guide. The guide shall be developed for direct use with the flexibility to be customized by highway tunnel owners. (7) Interim Report No. 1 that documents deliverables 1 through 6 of Phase I and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project no later than 6 months after contract award. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II through IV. PHASE II-- Development of the Proposed Methods - Deliverables in this phase shall include the following: (1) A detailed method with examples to prioritize preservation actions according to the identified metrics in Phase I. Proposals shall describe the number of examples to be provided. The examples shall consider different highway tunnels in urban and rural areas. The method shall be implemented into decision-making processes. (2) A detailed method with examples to determine appropriate levels of funding and staffing to achieve agency selected goals and performance measures. The research team shall consider consequences of different investment scenarios. (3) An annotated description of each section and subsection of the proposed guide along with the expected level of detail of each subsection. (4) A complete sample section of the guide that is publication ready with appropriate level of detail. (5) Interim Report No. 2 that documents deliverables 1 through 4 of Phase II and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project no later than 10 months after Phase I approval. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases III through IV. PHASE III--Draft Guide for Preservation of Highway Tunnel Systems - The deliverable for this phase will be the draft guide to be submitted no later than 10 months after Phase II approval and 6 months before the contract end date. PHASE IV--Final Products - Deliverables in this phase shall include the following: (1) Revised guide for preservation of highway tunnel systems after consideration of panel's review comments. (2) A final report that documents the entire research effort including an implementation plan.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $375000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 14-27

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Performing Organizations:

    Gannett Fleming, Incorporated

    209 Senate Avenue
    Camp Hill, Pennsylvania  United States  17011
  • Principal Investigators:

    Allen, Chester

  • Start Date: 20120514
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150313
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38247

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547384
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 14-27
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 9 2014 1:00AM