2nd International Webinar "Measures to improve resilience of road networks"

28 April 2022, online organised from Blacksburg (USA)

The webinar held on April 28 was the second one of four continuous webinars, and all of them are within the scope of the Technical Committee 3.3 "Asset Management".

Summary of the Webinar

The international webinar "Measures to improve resilience of road networks" was organized by the Technical Committee 3.3 "Road Asset Management". It was presented during the one-and-a-half-hour virtual event, evaluation of resilience of road networks, practical measures to increase resilience and recovery experience in cases of infrastructure failures due to extreme events. This included both the theoretical background for managing of resilience is as well as its practical application in decision making.

The impacts of climate change on infrastructure in Canada has been particularly significant and the webinar provided examples of agency response to ensure transportation continuity, improve its reliability and decrease recovery times. Further, a screening procedure and the effectiveness of bridge retrofitting following two earthquakes in New Zealand were described. The webinar concluded addressing the network-wide response and a recovery phase after earthquake induced failures in a district of central Italy.

The presented materials were based on the work done in Working Group 2 “Measures to improve resilience of Road networks” of PIARC Technical Committee 3.3 "Road Asset Management". The webinar comprised presentations by Rade Hajdin, David Hein, Jack Hansby and Mauro D’Apuzzo.

Conclusion

As general conclusions of the presentations, it is worth highlighting:

  1. Resilience approaches in asset management are being developed as an extension to traditional risk-based frameworks, to put additional emphasis on recovery time and activities, facilitating the adaptation of networks in the case of asset failures in extreme events. The aspects of resilience: robustness, redundancy and rapidity of response are permeated with the aspect of resourcefulness, which relates both to material/human resources and engineering ingenuity in identification and application of solutions to improve resilience of networks in the face of disruptive events.
  2. The threats to road infrastructure can be diverse in frequency and magnitude and there is a need to be far-sighted in detecting of critical failure scenarios by accounting for simultaneous and cascading asset failures. The complexity of applied resilience approaches in practice depends on the experience of road operators with threats in the past and available budget to cope with emergency situations. The presented case studies from Canada, New Zealand and Italy demonstrate the importance of prudent decision making in balancing stakeholder requirements as well as effectiveness of applied solutions.
  3. Resilience of road networks can be improved at different stages, and the ultimate goal of decision making is finding optimum combination of preventative and contingency/corrective measures to maximize long-term resilience of road infrastructure i.e., benefit to the society. In ranking of the maintenance/repair strategies the ratio of resilience vs. invested funds can be a good measure.

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