Vermont's transportation system was damaged caused by flooding in 2011

Vermont Transportation Resiliency Planning

Location

Vermont, USA

The damage to Vermont’s transportation system caused by flooding in 2011 illustrated the magnitude and scale of the system’s vulnerability to fluvial erosion and flooding across the state. One of the many lessons learned from past flooding is that new and improved methods and tools are needed to assess and mitigate flood risks to Vermont’s transportation system.

We developed a vulnerability screen that illustrates how roads, bridges, and culverts and vulnerable to damages due to inundation, erosion, or deposition.  The screen was verified in the field and vetted with stakeholders at VTrans and in the community.  The vulnerability screen was found to have an accuracy over 90% suggesting it is possible to locate likely vulnerable areas using a screening tool.  The importance of the transportation asset, or criticality, was determined through network modelling and evaluating how important a location was for access to critical facilities and how important the community viewed that stretch of road.  Mitigation planning and project prioritization is also part of the project to help begin the alternative analysis process to move towards an appropriate level of design.  All of the information generated from the project will be displayed in a web application to allow for quick viewing and planning.  This novel screening method will allow VTrans to allocate funds better and ultimately be more prepared for the next flood.