Transportation System Resilience: CEO Primer & Engagement

The transportation community is focused on a new challenge facing the nation's transportation systems. That challenge has become known as "resilience": the nexus of preparing for the impacts of climate change (e.g., sea level rise, severe/extreme weather events) while responding to the catalog of system vulnerabilities and emergencies. Transportation agencies and others have slowly been developing a new appreciation for the challenges inherent in reconciling the similarities and distinctions among four inter-related topics: (1) Critical Infrastructure; (2) System Risk Management; (3) Protection; and (4) All Hazards Response. The development of a new strategy based on resilience includes a much broader range of options to help manage risks and recover from system disruptions. In this new paradigm, resilience does not replace the four concepts, but offers an overarching strategy that includes system risk management, protection, and preparedness as complementary strategies to prevent attacks and ward off threats, and adaptation, recovery, and other post-disruption strategies to restore normal transportation services. At the same time, transportation resilience can effectively support community resilience when transportation organizations plan for and accommodate unforeseen financial and economic conditions affecting system sustainability and regional economic conditions. System resiliency is ultimately a matter of context and connectedness and, much like safety, affects every major business function within a transportation agency including planning, project delivery, operations, and business management. Although cooperative research projects and others have produced a wealth of resilience-related studies, products, guidelines, and effective practices over the past two decades, there is still much that remains to be done prior to the 2018 National Summit on Transportation Resilience. The Summit will be a significant component of National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 20-117, which will organize a national summit and peer exchange on transportation resilience to be held in 2018 and co-sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) (including the Special Committee on Transportation Security and Emergency Management, the Standing Committee on the Environment, and Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Systems), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and other interested parties. The objectives of this project are to develop a primer and a series of briefings for state Department of Transportation (DOT) CEOs and senior executives on transportation resilience. Together with the resilience research roadmap and resilience white papers currently being developed under NCHRP Project 20-59(54), this series of products and activities will lead into and inform the research in NCHRP Project 20-59(117) that will culminate in a national summit and peer exchange on transportation resilience to be held in late 2018.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-59(55)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Federal Highway Administration

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

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:

    Louis Berger and Associates, Incorporated

    100 Halsted Street
    East Orange, NJ  United States  07019
  • Principal Investigators:

    Matherly, Deborah

  • Start Date: 20170301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190228
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 41295

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01618759
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-59(55)
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 11 2016 1:00AM