Utilizing Graceful Failure As An Opportunity for Flood Mitigation Downstream to Protect Communities and Infrastructure

In 2011, the research team observed how “graceful failure” through planned damages to the Birds Point Levee by the US Army Corps of Engineers was enacted to alleviate extreme flooding on the Mississippi River. This action, while flooding croplands as planned in the past, actually reduced flooding and damage to waterway infrastructure and communities downstream. Recent trends and future climatic projections indicate that there will have more of these “extreme” flooding situations in our future. Therefore, this project will focus on identifying locations beyond Birds Point on the inland waterway system and associated tributaries where “graceful failure” or planned breach of levee infrastructure can be used as a means of flood protection for downstream communities and infrastructure. Advanced spatial analysis techniques will be used along with a set of criteria to be developed to identify probable locations for such mitigative approaches. Each location that is identified as a viable candidate will then be analyzed in terms of capacity for flood water detention, potential impacts to local infrastructure, and population potentially affected by the new floodway. This project will provide alternatives for flood mitigation not typically employed to reduce the need for disaster response and assist in transportation planning during extreme flood conditions.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $139500
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

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

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center

      University of Arkansas
      Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
    • Performing Organizations:

      Vanderbilt Center for Transportation Research (VECTOR)

      Box 1831, Station B
      Vanderbilt University
      Nashville, TN  United States  37235
    • Principal Investigators:

      Camp, Janey

      Philip, Craig

    • Start Date: 20180501
    • Expected Completion Date: 20200331
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01664973
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Mar 30 2018 10:16AM