Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Project 48-13. Resilience in Transportation Planning, Engineering, Management, Policy, and Administration

Although the general concept of “resilience” has existed for decades in transportation, its emergence as a critical topic in the field has come about more recently in the wake of numerous major disasters and other high profile incidents and system failures. After such events it has been typical to see a progression in which problems and weaknesses were identified and new practices, policies, and procedures developed and implemented to reduce or eliminate the potential for future occurrence. The purpose of this study is to collect, review, and summarize available information related to resilience practices in planning, engineering, operational practice, policy and administration. The study will also summarize methods used by transportation practitioners to assess, apply, and evaluate resilience measures. The study will help transportation practitioners prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to decreases in functionality no matter what the cause, scale, or duration. It is expected that with this information practitioners will be better informed and guided on ways to “working smarter” by showing how the needs of resilience (many of which are already taking place) can be better organized, understood, and worked into a comprehensive business operations. The study will seek to explain the following: (1) What resiliency is; (2) How it works; (3) What it can do; (4) How to assess and measure it; (5) How to pay for it; and (6) How to organize it and incorporate into existing business. The synthesis will be conducted in two separate, though closely related, components. The first will be a review of the body of existing literature, including both “traditional” sources of technical information (scientific and practitioner-oriented journals, conference compendiums, trade publications, research project reports, and non-technical reports) as well as a review of the “grey literature,” including unpublished planning studies for local communities, Department of Transportation (DOT) reports, management manuals, and other location-specific difficult-to-access reports and studies. The second component of the synthesis will be a survey to State DOTs regarding current practice. Information to be gathered will include, but not be limited to the following: (1) Methods and practices to plan, prepare, respond, and recover within existing frameworks and budgets as part of routine operations; (2) How agencies conduct cost benefit analysis to evaluate, compare, and justify the allocation of funding and resources to enhance resilience within the context of routine and competing needs; (3) Current practices related to training, procedures, policies, plan content, and jurisdictional roles and involvement; (4) Commonalities and differences in practices; (5) Unique and effective practices; and (6) Reported failings, shortcomings, and practices to avoid.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 48-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Zwhalen, Tanya

  • Start Date: 20160511
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40822

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598985
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 48-13
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 11 2016 1:00AM