Explorations Around “Graceful Failure” in Transportation Infrastructure: Lessons Learned By the Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet)
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:15 AM
Recent events have demonstrated that the United States’ transportation infrastructure is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events which will likely increase in the future. In light of the 60% shortfall of the $900 billion investment needed over the next five years to maintain this aging infrastructure, hardening of all infrastructures is unlikely. Alternative strategies are needed to ensure that critical aspects of the transportation network are maintained during climate extremes. Preliminary concepts around multi-tier service expectations of bridges and roads with reference to network capacity will be presented. Drawing from recent flooding events across the U.S., specific examples for roads/pavement will be used to illustrate impacts, disruptions, and trade-offs between performance during events and subsequent damage. This talk will also address policy and cultural norms within the civil engineering practice that will likely challenge the application of graceful failure pathways during extreme events.