FHWA Pilot Program

In recent decades, extreme weather has disrupted transportation systems across the country. Intense hurricanes in the East, snowstorms and prolonged flooding in the Midwest, and wildfires to the West have forced road closures, endangered motorists, and severely damaged roadway assets. The impacts of these events are costly, affecting capital improvement programs and the traveling public.

These concerns were behind a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) pilot program aimed to develop solutions to improve roadway durability and resilience now and in the future. FHWA uses the results to create a guidebook on emerging best management practices to help transportation agencies account for extreme weather as part of their life-cycle planning and transportation asset management programs.

As part of the pilot program, Gannett Fleming worked with two state departments of transportation—Arizona and New Jersey—to uncover, mitigate, and manage the impacts of current and future extreme weather events by enhancing resiliency. For the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the firm assessed potential vulnerabilities along a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 80 in Passaic County using resiliency engineering principles, including root cause methodology and risk-based analysis.

The Arizona Department of Transportation partnered with the firm and its geospatial technology division, GeoDecisions, to develop a geospatial database that would integrate nearly eight years of resiliency data, as well as external data sets, into one system.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Assessing the effects of extreme weather events leads to improved planning and asset management.
  • Risk- and resiliency-based solutions facilitate driver safety and sustainable roadway conditions.
  • Partnership with FHWA, NJDOT, and ADOT drives development of best management practices and a guidebook for life-cycle planning.