The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has unveiled a statewide Resilience Plan — a comprehensive, formalized framework to incorporate resilience strategies into transportation planning, project development and delivery, operations, maintenance and asset management.
The Resilience Plan outlines strategies to anticipate, prepare for and mitigate hazards that can put the transportation network at risk of disruption and deterioration, such as recurring flooding and extreme weather events.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that Virginia's transportation network continues to move people and goods safely and efficiently for generations to come," said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich. "While the results of the Resilience Plan will take time to fully realize, it is an important step for the agency, as we support the Commonwealth's goal of increasing resilience statewide and join our counterpart DOTs in working towards increasing transportation resilience across the nation."
The Resilience Plan includes six primary objectives:
1. Promote Data-Driven Decisions — VDOT will develop a data and research plan to ensure transportation decisions are informed by the best available data and research regarding vulnerability, current and planned assets, and identified current and future conditions.
2. Engage and Partner with Stakeholders — VDOT will establish and implement a coordination and outreach plan that will help leverage existing efforts, maximize benefits and ensure decision-making is coordinated with statewide policy.
3. Identify At-Risk Infrastructure and Prioritize Needs — VDOT will establish a risk-based methodology to measure the vulnerability across current and planned transportation infrastructure assets to support the prioritization and application of resilience efforts.
4. Survey Resilience Measures — VDOT will establish a suite of resilience measures that will be available for incorporation into planning, design, operations and maintenance programs. The measures will include (i) adaptive design criteria based upon the best available, forward-looking data; (ii) physical enhancement measures; (iii) nature-based resilience measures; (iv) operations, maintenance and emergency management enhancement measures; and (v) other administrative/policy measures.
5. Utilize Feasibility and Cost Effectiveness Analyses — VDOT will develop feasibility and economic analyses that are compatible with existing processes to ensure appropriate selection of resilience measures for application to a particular asset.
6. Incorporate Resilience into Current Funding Policies — VDOT will identify new funding opportunities that are available for resilience projects and initiatives and identify and implement steps to incorporate resilience into current investment processes and programs. The ultimate deployment of resilience measures relies on the effectiveness of incorporating resilience into the agency's decision-making processes for funding programs and opportunities.
The Resilience Plan was developed with the support of VDOT leadership and is the first statewide transportation resilience plan in the Commonwealth.
To ensure the successful implementation of this plan, VDOT will continue to engage with partners and stakeholders to allow for a coordinated effort across the Commonwealth.
The complete Resilience Plan is available online at https://www.virginiadot.org/programs/pr-environmental.asp.
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