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Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems (2014)

Chapter: CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements

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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER THREE Synthesis of Case Example Elements." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22376.
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64 CHAPTER THREE SYNTHESIS OF CASE EXAMPLE ELEMENTS INTRODUCTION The case examples in chapter two organize each state DOT’s responses to extreme weather impacts based on operations, assets, and mission-support activities. Spe- cifically, these groupings cover key functional areas (Operations, Maintenance, Design, Construction, and Planning and Related Activities) and certain crosscut- ting functions (Communications, Interagency Coordina- tion, and Data and Knowledge Management). Lessons learned and related practices for each function are pre- sented in the last section of each individual case example in chapter two. To begin the synthesis across case examples, this chapter collects the lessons learned and related practices from all the cases and groups them by the functions used to organize the case examples in chapter two. Next, this chapter describes the recurring or other noteworthy features within each group and presents additional themes identified during the synthe- sis process. CASE EXAMPLE LESSONS LEARNED AND RELATED PRACTICES Introduction The following are the lessons learned and related prac- tices noted in the cases presented in chapter two. They are grouped here by the same functional categories used in each case: Operations, Maintenance, Design, Construction, Plan- ning and Related Activities, Communications, Interagency Coordination, and Data and Knowledge Management. It is useful to note that the contexts in which certain prac- tices were employed may have differed among the cases. For example, the eight extreme weather events reviewed were different in kind and had disparate impacts, while state DOT responses sometimes occurred under emergency manage- ment protocols and sometimes they did not. For this reason, the relevant case example is named for further reference by the reader. The practices listed here can be a starting point for more detailed discussion and judgments by state DOT subject matter experts and decision makers. Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Operations: Initial preparedness efforts included: • Contact with the state Emergency Operations Center • E-mail dialogue • Review of preparedness checklists by state DOT staff • Checks by maintenance crews for needed tree cutting and weed removal to minimize debris and cleaning of sewer pipes to optimize drainage • Checks of communications systems, flashlights, and other backup equipment, and checks of bulk fuel tanks and vehicles, topping them off as appropriate • Development of evacuation plans, including consideration of contraflow plan in consultation with the state police. New Jersey When alerts went higher, mapping out of activation times leading up to the “H-Hour,” which is when hurricane winds would be 39 mph or greater, and referring to these activations times to drive later decision making, such as the go/ no-go on whether to institute contraflow for the shore evacuation New Jersey Operations ICS adopting a 24/7 battle rhythm with set calls in the morning and evening New Jersey Usage of Safety Service Patrol, which added supplies of fuel, protective gear, and towing line, plus plows in some cases to move debris New Jersey After the event, state DOT maintaining a physical presence at the most affected areas New Jersey Division of the area where recovery would take place by the site of physical impacts, rather than by agency boundar- ies, to make boundaries clear and temporary New Jersey Seeking and facilitating high-level approval to clear side streets because their equipment was already there and it would speed the return of residents New Jersey Table Continued on p.65

65 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Operations: Prior development of “storm kits” and requirement that crews bring them along on assessments, including the informa- tion needed to substantiate federal reimbursement claims, such as photos and the exact location of damage sites New Jersey Creating a job code when state Emergency Operations Center increased alert from Level 1 to 2 to get an early start on substantiating federal reimbursement New Jersey Creating the job code before damage was incurred and benefitting from retroactive Presidential disaster declaration, capturing prior activity under that code New Jersey Setting a well-understood, target time frame (Christmas time) for state DOT departure from recovery area New Jersey After the state EM was stood up, putting in place an internal flood management team and using group phone calls for cohesion Iowa Utilization of webinar uplink on group calls, for maps, etc. Iowa Having a multiagency team and having FHWA and neighboring states join it Iowa Ensuring enterprise-wide understanding of ICS “from management to the garage level” Iowa Investment in ICS training ahead of time Iowa Development of a disaster response plan Iowa Training for staff to be project officers on federal program Iowa Debris-removal contracts in place before flood waters had receded Iowa Mobilization of all staff through an Operations Support Center, including purchasing, contracts, environmental, design, materials, GIS staff, and bridges and structures staff Iowa Utilizing IT staff, especially with respect to internet communications and GIS Iowa Development of global detours for interstate travelers Iowa Identifying staffing issues, such as: • Using the staffing practices from the event as the starting point for a template for future events • Involvement of all state DOT offices affected by the event or with expertise that could aid in managing the event from the outset • For events of long duration: – Seeking the assistance of vendors, contractors, or other outside resources, as needed, to ensure the timely completion of response-related activities – Designating a small group to focus on recovery as response efforts continue • Involving state agencies with responsibility for permitting or other related issues earlier in the event • Adapting the current process for managing vendor contacts so it can be more flexible and take less time • Making arrangements to engage consultants, if needed, to assist with damage assessments and other recovery work while state DOT staff is still engaged in the flood response Iowa • On a case-by-case basis, weighing the benefits of the consistency achieved through uniform use of consultants against the benefits gained through the application of local knowledge, when internal staff members are charged with a task Iowa Identifying decision-making issues, such as: • Involving the right people – Erring on the side of inclusion when developing the list of participants in the event response; consider involving support services that handle equipment, signs, purchasing, and traffic and safety, as well as research and technology – Ensuring the early and effective engagement of the state DOT management, state emergency operations staff, and regional partners; use the circumstances of each event to guide the extent of ongoing management participation – Identifying critical connections and clearances with resource agencies (FHWA, the state natural resource agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) early on, considering the impacts to and involvement of local agencies – Encouraging the active engagement of district staff in making decisions and identifying innovative solutions • Structuring the decision-making process – Providing clear direction on the goals for response and preliminary recovery, clarifying responsibilities for carrying out these related efforts – Expediting decision making with a small-group structure for project-level decisions and confidential matters – Ensuring that staff is trained and coordinating an agency-wide implementation of a formal ICS approach – When possible, using established vendors or resources already under contract to control spending and avoid duplication of effort. Iowa Table Continued on p.66

66 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Operations: • Managing the transition from response to recovery (while the response is ongoing) – Establishing a separate working group that begins work on recovery early in the event while others manage the flood response – Requesting advice from contractors’ associations about how the agency can work more effectively with contractors in initiating a prompt and effective recovery effort – Avoiding seeking the “perfect” solution when preparing designs for emergency repairs. – Applying innovative contracting practices such as lump-sum, limited-design contracts and no-excuse bonuses to expedite reconstruction projects – Employing a debriefing process at the onset of the recovery efforts to document successes and challenges as the projects move forward. Iowa Identifying mitigation measures, such as the following: • Selecting a mitigation measure that fits the circumstances of the site • Keeping abreast of new mitigation technologies; entering new products in the state DOT purchasing system as they are identified to expedite their use during an emergency • Considering certain practices when using large flood-barrier systems and others for smaller sites • Being prepared to address unintended consequences of mitigation measures • Recording areas that were affected so they can be considered for projects to prevent future problems Iowa Developing an in-house, electronic process for federal reimbursement when a commercial product could not be found Iowa Including FHWA in state DOT headquarters team so it could keep U.S.DOT dated Tennessee Assessing risks to department assets and communicating that employee safety was paramount Tennessee Maintaining regularly scheduled conference calls Tennessee Drawing on prior experience to “think upstream” (up from the affected area) in conducting road closures Tennessee Leveraging the small travel budget in each region to bring in resources from less-affected regions to support timely assessments critical to federal reimbursement Tennessee Placing a design professional on assessment teams Tennessee Supplying brief ICS training during the event Tennessee Refining Continuity of Operations plan to outline how critical duties will be performed during these types of events Tennessee Giving consideration to creating an operations center within the headquarters building to facilitate rapid decisions, especially in off-hours Tennessee Designating assessment teams before these events, in each region and at headquarters Tennessee Conducting training—for example, ICS training—and equipping staff and facilities for future extreme weather events Tennessee Setting times to activate emergency operations and developing a staffing plan for 24/7 operations Washington Engaging air assets to provide helpful information on the scope of the flood Washington Utilizing real-time geospatial information at the site of the flooding to create a visual scope of impacts Washington Taking road closure reports from the field for recording in WebEOC Washington Detour planning to address needs of local traffic, with guidance on allowing exceptions that serve local communities, such as: • Loads related to disaster relief in affected communities • Supplies for hospitals, medical centers, and pharmacies • Perishable loads that would not survive the longer detour • Food and other goods destined for grocery stores, schools, and institutions • Supplies of fuel • Local deliveries to certain counties • Shipments to ports but only for items previously noted Washington Addressing freight as a distinct issue in a detour, including developing procedures for implementing access for certain freight haulers through a permit system; using tools such as pre-signage, cameras, and messaging boards; enforcing restrictions in collaboration with local law enforcement or the National Guard; and communicating relevant informa- tion through “freight alert” e-mails to people who have signed up to receive such alerts Washington Developing a Commercial Vehicle Path System so that a statewide process is in place for diverting commercial traffic under future extreme weather events or for other purposes Washington Standing up of an ICS, with the appropriate scope of organization of the event—for example, Unified Command and regional or local Incident Coordination Centers Vermont Table Continued on p.67

67 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Operations: Identifying and utilizing a short, set list of objectives for the recovery effort Vermont Having awareness of employee attitudes and their basic necessities Vermont Improving alignment of FHWA information in its DDIR with the FEMA PA PW format Vermont Pursuing rulings on issues of first impression with the federal government (e.g., FHWA and National Guard costs) Vermont Training and provision of designated technical assistance to localities attempting to seek federal reimbursement Vermont Providing technical assistance to policy makers exploring changes to state cost sharing where localities that cannot afford to repair damage to transportation system, changes to federal program cost sharing where state cannot afford repairs to transportation system, or other approaches Vermont Ensuring demobilization of ICS is defined, described (including the social after effects of event), and implemented, using methods such as the following: having the Incident Command Center Logistics leader discuss what personnel will feel after returning; holding brownbags; offering counseling; issuing a coin as a memento; and sending thank-you notes to personnel and their families Vermont Preparing for and using the federal reimbursement process to support projects that build resiliency Vermont Preparing for and using ICS, including pre-assigning roles; knowing the experience of staff when assigning roles; pro- viding ICS training; familiarizing staff with mobile IT and other equipment used in the field; preparing/updating Stan- dard Operating Procedures for use of ICS; considering event-related criteria when standing up an ICS, UC, and IC; and updating the Continuing Operations Plan Vermont Developing training for effective use of ICS through basic training at all levels, with more for assigned staff; annual training; providing checklist and pocket manuals with key information for ICS section leads on each role; practicing the use of ICS under small events; developing a plan for use of technology in emergency response; clarifying the role of the state DOT in ICS training; and providing training in the technical details of likely events (e.g., riverine flooding) Vermont Addressing contracts administration under ICS by having contractors register; having an electronic invoicing and con- tracts processing system; developing administrative packets on invoicing, federal forms, emergency management lev- els, and state and federal compliance issues for state and for contractor staff; developing an emergency waiver process; and standardizing the process for paying contractors under an ICS Vermont Enhancing the use of technology when using ICS, including having a master list of cell and smart-phone contacts; expanding training in the state’s maintenance tracking system; exploring use of cloud technology to enable robust use of mobile applications, continuing use of Google Maps; storing information needed in an emergency situation in one place; and enabling a single internal location for sharing data during an event Vermont Improving workflow under ICS, including developing a process to track equipment lent to contractors; developing a process for tracking materials supplied by contractors; and improving internal data collection for federal reimburse- ment by defining roles and supplying training, including training the trainers Vermont Prepare for operations role under ICS, including developing an “Emergency Design Manual” for use when reestablish- ing structural elements in an emergency; clarifying the level of civil engineer testing and documentation expected under response; and improving the collection and use of geospatial data immediately after the event Vermont Improving communications under ICS, including developing/updating internal processes for communications in ICS; developing/updating with stakeholders’ external processes for communications in ICS; ensuring proper equipment will be on hand, including portable cell towers, inspecting radios, and cell phones; assessing emergency management software ahead of time; and developing alternatives for when power or cell reception is down Vermont Being familiar with weather forecasting and relying on NOAA for specific reports, such as ice conditions Alaska Relying of maintenance crews on the Road Weather Information System, with real-time information on weather data so crews can get to the field at the right time Alaska Considering use of an MDSS that combines weather data from multiple sources Alaska Enacting a “no boundaries” maintenance coordination policy that requires districts to seek assistance as needed and provides a framework for coordination with other districts, regional and statewide Alaska Assigning codes to a weather event in order to advance decision making, with no concern about developing codes that “go nowhere” if the weather event does not become significant Alaska Developing detailed presentations on disaster response, including one setting out the requirements for federal and state reimbursement for damage and expenditures, including FHWA and FEMA thresholds as well as information on the “betterment” option to avoid rebuilding to the way state infrastructure was before, rather than improving it Alaska Ensuring the state DOT role is defined as a supporting role to the primary agencies that respond to wildfires, using ICS principles and relying on express instructions on action to take Texas Reaching out to FHWA to seek early buy-in on project for which state DOT would like see federal reimbursement Texas Participating in daily operational calls during a wildfire event Texas Table Continued on p.68

68 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Operations: Supporting the statewide emergency response to wildfires by: • Supplying fuel and water • Supplying traffic control • Supplying sign trailers and other signage, website information, and other information for the public • Creating firebreaks in part by supplying heavy equipment, such as graders and bulldozers, and employees to use them • Permitting counties’ access to state rights-of-way for posting burn ban signs • Issuing emergency utility permits Texas Leveraging fuel vehicles used for hurricane evacuation and re-entry to support local volunteer fire departments in fighting catastrophic fires Texas Weighing the administrative and opportunity costs of seeking federal reimbursement for support to counties and other state agencies, with the benefit received Texas Challenging FHWA on issues of first impression, including attempting reimbursement from FHWA for damage from wildfire for scenarios that have not been requested before but may become routine under increased wildfires—for example, payment for removal of scorched trees that may fall onto roadway Texas Activating the state DOT’s Adverse Conditions Communications Plan, developed for snow and ice events, to address heat-buckling risk during prolonged heat events Wisconsin Monitoring for impacts of an unusual weather event, leveraging prior experience Wisconsin Identifying and marking the location of each impacted site using Google Maps and maintaining the map as an internal resource Wisconsin Ensuring county maintenance crews are ready Wisconsin Providing hourly updates to management Wisconsin Asking the county partner to create a job code and to document the exact location of an event Wisconsin Using knowledge of federal programs to determine whether to pursue FHWA or FEMA reimbursement Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Maintenance: Deciding to have separate sites for debris and sand removed from streets in order to clean and reuse the sand New Jersey Addressing sinkhole-related issues regarding their proper assessment and the most appropriate traffic control measures at the local level New Jersey Conducting preparedness activities before a controlled release of water from dams, including checking for blocked cul- verts, defining the disaster responses staging areas, and deploying ITS, such as traffic cameras that could provide a view of inundated roads Iowa Managing tornadoes occurring during larger storm as (1) an employee safety issue and (2) a right-of-way debris removal issue Tennessee Beginning recovery phase during response phase, with the priority to get transportation moving again Washington Maintaining flexibility in determining what to ask from localities in the way of reimbursement for state DOT services provided during extreme weather events Washington Staging equipment, including cones, messages boards, portable traffic lights Vermont Identifying a central storage location or garage for equipment needed in a major event Vermont Tracking maintenance needs with a view to statewide events Vermont Coordinating and running a multiagency “Scan Tour” with relevant state and federal agencies to assess together exist- ing repairs and determine how permanent repairs will be made Vermont Developing an equipment inventory, including what and where the resources are Vermont Under a disaster declaration, providing assistance to municipalities in the form of staff and heavy equipment, such as loaders, dump trucks, graders and snow-melters Alaska Considering several factors in deploying crews outside of their immediate geographic area, given the size of the state and limited transportation routes, such as the duration of the need and whether it is feasible to get the support there in time Alaska Keeping fire-control support resources “pre-loaded” and ready to deploy throughout the state Texas Table Continued on p.69

69 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Maintenance: Ensuring primary message to employees that the state DOT involved in supporting wildfire control are not firemen Texas In fire situations, allowing only state DOT employees to use state DOT equipment Texas Ensuring employee preparedness and safety through the acquisition and pre-positioning of two response trailers with protective gear where local crews can receive briefings on wildfire characteristics and shelter deployment training Texas Discussing drought issues in maintenance workshops Texas Patrolling for road cracks and other pavement degradation from drought Texas Identifying and communicating the best time frame within a day for acting on heat buckling Wisconsin Using temporary patch to quickly address heat-buckling incident and keep traffic moving, and returning for specific patching or during routine maintenance Wisconsin Providing crews with set of equipment needed, including traffic control (drums, arrowboards, crash cushions) and cold patch kits Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Design: At the location of the major, now iconic, barrier island breach, the decision to rebuild transportation infrastructure back to original design and pre-disaster appearance under a fixed and aggressive time frame New Jersey To rebuild 4 miles of a washed-out interstate, starting the design process before water levels had fallen and adopting a design-build approach, given the availability of the original plans Iowa Leveraging the FHWA “betterment” option to build a more resilient replacement structure Tennessee Considering the impacts of increased detours on secondary roads—for example, slope stability—and considering these in design of roads and detours Washington Developing new design criteria in order to meet projected risks—for example, bridge height for flooding, use of riprap Vermont Using existing data sets—for example, route logs—to support design process in emergency response scenario Vermont Simplifying the design plan process Vermont Considering the more severe storms and unpredictable weather that is expected and their implications on design—for example, the effects of the freeze–thaw cycle Alaska Determining the possible causes of road degradation under drought in order to assess the most appropriate response, through mate- rials design or landscape approaches Texas Studying the needs for design changes owing to projections of continued and increased heat events, starting with urban pavement Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Construction: Fully repairing key areas using emergency contractors and working with the planning side of the house for on-call design contracts New Jersey Rebuilding 4 miles of a washed-out interstate, using predetermined contract rates, incentive clauses, and contracted inspection services Iowa Acceleration of the drafting and letting of contracts for repair work so that repairs could begin as soon as inspections were completed Tennessee Ensuring all relevant units were working with FHWA as contracts and the formal letter of intent to request Emergency Relief funds were developed Tennessee Giving consideration to developing “off-the-shelf” contractual terms for emergency situations Tennessee Posting of the contracts let under exigent circumstances on website for transparency Tennessee Enabling shifts in construction schedules to accommodate new priorities Vermont Adopting an approach to rebuilding that completely closes a road or bridge for safer and faster construction, rather than choosing a partial closure (that maintains access during construction) Vermont Articulating the existing technical and policy foundation for projects that support better resiliency (e.g., rewriting hydraulic manual to underscore existing practices) Vermont Exploring new construction techniques—for example, prefabrication of structure components, advanced new materials, and new contract/management techniques Vermont Table Continued on p.70

70 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Construction: Taking advantage of change management after an extreme weather event to mainstream new construction practices—for exam- ple, by developing an Accelerated Bridge Construction program initiative, staggering its implementation, and providing metrics for success Vermont Supporting the burial of utility lines to avoid downed utility poles on the highway right-of-way Alaska Enlisting in-house and external resources to collect and record existing effective practices as well as emerging stressors, such as increased highway degradation from energy development Texas Using the Construction Division’s research arm to understand how agency assets and materials are performing under certain kinds of extreme weather events Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices by mission-related functions Planning: Developing $2 billion in resiliency projects and making strategic choices about building back the right infrastructure, as informed by prior climate change planning funded by FHWA New Jersey Using lead time before waters rose to develop flood mitigation projects, as identified through use of GIS and LIDAR Iowa After road closures are made for safety, using planner expertise to determine, then communicate, the impact of road closures Iowa Developing an Emergency Transportation Operations plan with the Iowa State Patrol Iowa Using associations, such as I-95 Coalition, to find ways to improve interstate coordination under an extreme weather event Tennessee Supplying training in GIS for freight rerouting, using the resources of the I-95 Coalition Tennessee Linking to and supporting information transfer to climate-change vulnerability assessments and related planning efforts Washington Preparing for growth in program and responsibilities, given increased awareness of extreme weather Washington Creating an Emergency Response Plan, including the express identification of the role of nongovernmental resources, such as the Regional Planning Committees set up under federal transportation laws Vermont Developing training and related content to educate employees to better address flooding events, including general ICS awareness, instruction in river management, and in-depth technical training for engineers Vermont Articulating a holistic, watershed-based approach to siting and building transportation infrastructure Vermont Staying current on climate projections from the NOAA-funded entity intended to provide decision support for state and local entities and providing briefings on state needs under more unpredictable weather Alaska Using snow and climate projections as a basis for seeking increased space for snow dumps, while addressing related environ- mental issues Alaska Researching and drafting a document outlining emerging practices in winter highway maintenance, noting that one impetus for the document is the more unpredictable weather expected Alaska Participating in state’s Drought Preparedness Council Texas Ensuring employees have both FEMA training and a clear understanding of the state DOT’s supporting role in wildfire control Texas Configuring the state DOT’s MDSS, which is geared toward certain weather events (winter storms) to also help forecast newly emerging extreme weather impact (heat buckling) Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Communications: Leveraging the clear communication by the Governor’s office New Jersey Engaging directly with constituencies—for example, the freight haulers, through associations such as Iowa Motor Truck Association Iowa Using 511 system to communicate road status Iowa Directing ITS cameras toward vulnerable areas Iowa Using 24-hour public information call center Iowa Using dynamic messaging signs Iowa Using public website dedicated to the flood Iowa Using Highway Advisory Radio Iowa Table Continued on p.71

71 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Communications: Identifying notable communications practices, such as: – Considering the early engagement of DOT divisions or offices that may assist in the flood response, including front-line support services that handle equipment, signs, purchasing, and traffic and safety, as well as research and technology – Establishing a core group that expands, as needed, with the staff required to address the issues at hand that day – Engaging neighboring states immediately if it appears that a regional detour will be required – Ensuring that all communication with regard to regional or local detours is provided in a timely manner – Setting a goal and purpose for project team meetings – Carefully structuring meeting agendas to move from general information sharing to more detailed discussions – Establishing consensus on the nature and extent of the public message and ensuring delivery of a consistent message – Designating one individual within the DOT as the party responsible for managing information flow – Implementing a policy that identifies the agency’s philosophy with regard to detours—regional or localized—and that describes how information about detours will be disseminated – Clarifying the DOT’s position on the primacy of the state’s 511 site as the main source for traveler information – Instituting regular prompting to those contributing information to an event-specific website to ensure that the site’s information is accurate and current • Evaluating the need for a call center to respond to public inquiries, taking into consideration the extent and nature of an event and available resources. • Siting the call center team in one room with a cubicle designed to enhance privacy. • Considering the use of a software program that provides statistics on caller volume. Iowa Utilizing “Turn Around Don’t Drown” public service messaging from a multistate initiative Iowa Use of the 511 system, given public familiarity with it Tennessee Development of public-facing traffic map for the website to deliver up-to-date information on closures Tennessee Utilization of new, enhanced 511 call-in system that permits travelers to name any location in the state and receive information on lane or road closures Tennessee Stationing “communicators” at regional emergency operations centers to allow for efficient knowledge transfer and approvals, through such activities as: • Responding to media calls for updates • Facilitating media interviews with key personnel • Updating traffic web pages • Posting closure information on web pages • Updating Highway Advisory Radio messages • Crafting alert messages for the 511 Traveler Information System • Monitoring media coverage of the storm Washington Maintaining a set of metrics for website activity to substantiate site utility and level of interest from the public Washington Developing a detour and methods for enforcing closure and maintaining flow of through traffic, addressing entry points, including exits, and notifying the public and key sectors through the following communication tools: • Direct mail postcards to truckers about the closure • Portable cameras at the I-5 closure point • Listserv messages • Graphic communications for non-English-speaking public • Having a front-line spokesperson providing information on the larger picture • Use of Incident Response Team truck signs while cruising up and down the truck holding area • Getting photos to tell stories and posting them on Flickr, an online photo-sharing site Washington Supplementing 511 system with a call-in center dedicated to the event, Google Maps, social media, mobile phone micro-site, and website with regular updates Vermont Where adopting a web-based tool, such as Google Maps, making timely decisions on investing staff time, encouraging and facili- tating adoption by others, and planning for its maturity into an ongoing tool Vermont Considering the staffing and protocols needed to ensure a social media site has the desired impact Vermont Tying in transportation information to existing agency communications lines—for example, 1-800 numbers for tourist information Vermont Transporting media to the site and providing agency personnel for interviews Vermont To communicate weather impacts, using the 511 system that shows road conditions, closures, and construction, with camera views through the Road Weather Information System used by crews, and relaying information by means of the department web page, telephone, RSS feed, iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter Alaska Routine use of snow-plow hotlines Alaska Use ICS communications protocol under an emergency but with support for interviews by staff Alaska Using the state’s general Highway Condition Reporting System to present information on wildfires Texas Table Continued on p.72

72 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Communications: Working with the state EOC to determine proper messaging for state DOT dynamic messaging signs in wildfire areas Texas Supporting knowledge transfer by providing technical comments to state legislature draft documents Texas Use of 511 system to provide online updates of road conditions derived from Google Maps Wisconsin Use of Twitter for cautionary messages and incident alerts Wisconsin Use of press release and interviews to convey the following: risk of a road safety issue (heat buckling) is high for a defined period; the technical reasons for the problem; the number of buckling incidents and how long it takes crews to fix them; coordination with counties; randomness of the incidents; the need for the public to be prepared; and safety tips Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Interagency Coordination: Coordinating with the state police on common communication devices, P25 digital radios New Jersey Where state DOT and power companies have conflicting missions and therefore challenges on the ground, reinforcing safety issues and complying with power company rules when power lines cross a roadway during recovery from an extreme weather event New Jersey Resolving local traffic control issues by constructing out what appeared to be permanent traffic control changes on a temporary basis New Jersey Including FHWA on the team from the start Iowa Coordinating with multiple state and federal agencies, including other states, through daily webinars and briefings by other agen- cies, such as NWS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Iowa Clarifying whether the purpose of interagency meetings was for information sharing or decisions Iowa Interacting on multimodal issues directly with affected parties and supporting their efforts by standing down on nearby projects, and facilitating communications with local agency representatives Iowa Understanding the resources (e.g., time and staff) needed to address the complexities of working with another state linked by a heavily used toll bridge where such state had experienced less severe impacts and the toll bridge governing body had its own inter- ests to assert in negotiations. Iowa Embedding staff in FEMA field crews to enable better collaboration on the federal reimbursement process Tennessee Including FHWA in the ICS Tennessee After the event and in response to a recommendation in the After Action Report, creating an Emergency Management Steering Committee to ensure a cross-functional approach to the state DOT’s various roles in an emergency, including human resources, community relations, central services, maintenance, and representation from regional agencies Tennessee Providing additional training to staff on the assessment process to support federal reimbursement applications Tennessee Engaging in direct calls with NWS before the weather event hits Washington Convening a conference call at regular times, coordinated around other standing meeting with common attendees, such as mainte- nance calls Washington Ensuring the National Guard leaders and troops are aware of the chain of command on the ground before use at a detour requiring their show of authority Washington Coordinating on the potential mismatch of communication devices on the ground Washington Embedding FHWA in state DOT activities related to the extreme weather event—for example, in the ICS Vermont Understanding the management requirements for using the National Guard Vermont Accelerating securing approvals for weight and time waivers for trucks through internal coordination Vermont Better integrating air and rail into emergency operations Vermont Maintaining key role and pace at the table in broader recovery effort by taking responsibility for its early management Vermont Including an environmental liaison in the ICS Vermont Developing agreements and memoranda of understanding to define/update roles of agencies under emergency response situations Vermont Meeting annually to check in on who is who at each agency and confirming contacts for future events Vermont Defining roles in a state DOT ICS of regional planning committees, which are congressionally required bodies of potential use in emergency response Vermont Ensuring early engagement by all relevant agencies Vermont Using same district boundary for all agencies in emergency response, noting state DOT maintenance districts may not be the most effective Vermont Table Continued on p.73

73 Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Interagency Coordination: Assigning or dedicating a state attorney to federal program reimbursement, and other emergency response issues Vermont Facilitating the deployment of the National Guard by waiving substantial transportation fees for the long trip necessitated by the closure of airport at disaster declaration site Alaska Working with FAA to secure a waiver allowing use of FAA airport equipment off site to clear the state highway leading to the air- port and ensure airport access Alaska Supporting state DOT employees assigned to city emergency operations team, with effort paid for through preexisting reimburs- able agreement Alaska Working with FHWA early on, in estimating costs of repairs from wildfires to expedite approvals for reimbursement Texas Using collaboration tool such as Daily Activity Reports and SharePoint to collect data on events Texas Reliance on county crews to transition from traffic control by law enforcement personnel to traffic control by arrowboards, drums, etc. Wisconsin Contracting with counties for roadway maintenance and maintaining strong relationships, such that the state DOT is always confi- dent a county will not hesitate to answer a request from the state DOT to provide maintenance at a site Wisconsin Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Data and Knowledge Management: To facilitate the flow of interstate freight and other traffic during an extreme weather event, development of an online permitting system to issue emergency permits in advance the event New Jersey Engaging in post-event workshops and other activities to share and record knowledge and lessons learned from the event New Jersey Participating in the Governor’s task force and state-level After Action Report, conducting a state DOT After Action Report, and hiring a consultant to run the exercise Iowa Supporting the communication of state DOT-related lessons learned to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Iowa Providing a forum for the public to tell stories about transportation issues from the event, under a web-based “storify” project Iowa Investing in LIDAR data sets and using them to determine at-risk sites and to identify places that would be safe and would not require investment of precious time for protection Iowa Using aerial images of the event early for situational awareness Iowa Convening a daily sit-down regarding GIS data alongside the state DOT’s daily flood-management team call Iowa Maximizing the use of GIS staff available to contribute to damage survey reports Iowa In absence of pre-assigned staff, leveraging of personnel known to have ICS experience from a previous disaster to lead the opera- tion, educating crews using standard ICS forms, and ensuring there is a dedicated person for each crew in the central office (UC) Tennessee Developing an After Action Report that records effective practices, lessons learned, and new approaches going forward Tennessee Upgrading geospatial data sets to include GoogleEarth, the state’s aerial photography, and LIDAR maps Tennessee Working with other agencies well ahead of extreme weather events to optimize each other’s data sets and methods used Tennessee Sharing information through SharePoint, WebEOC, and conference calls to enable a quick response Washington Developing an After Action Report to assess the agency response, with contributions from all regions, not just from those affected Washington Using state academic resources to research information on key issues related to impacts from extreme weather events of concern (e.g., flooding) and synthesizing the body of knowledge Washington Increasing use of GIS, for example, so that 50% of the state DOT fleet has GIS in its vehicles so they can be located during an extreme weather event Washington Distinguishing Emergency Management processes from day-to-day processes in post-event assessment of a state DOT response to extreme weather event Vermont Providing a structured forum and process for developing lessons learned from extreme weather events to capture practices and ideas for improvement, dedicating resources to hire a contractor Vermont Identifying the data sets (e.g., bridge information, record drawings) that benefit decision making and the ways to enable better col- lection or access to the data Vermont Developing succession planning to maintain continuity and a knowledge base Vermont Understanding the limitations of weather information products and seeking to develop expertise to better assess weather events Vermont Collecting and reporting on emerging winter maintenance practices in light of more severe and unpredictable winter weather Alaska Using NOAA post-event reports and providing briefings on state needs under more unpredictable weather to the NOAA-funded entity designed to provide decision support for state and local entities Alaska Table Continued on p.74

74 DISCUSSION OF COMMON AND RECURRING ISSUES Mission Area Functions Operations State DOTs routinely watch for adverse weather, drawing on external and in-house sources of information. In order to inform their decisions early on, they will use multiple sources of information on weather and related impacts, including NWS, contracted weather services, and in-house expertise, when available. States also use NOAA after-storm reports, which clarify the type of event that occurred, the actual conditions experienced, scope of impact, and so forth, and that can also inform them of the potential outcomes from subsequent weather events. Some states rely on their MDSS, which draws from multiple data sources and can be config- ured to help forecast for certain events. For example, Wis- consin invested in an MDSS to address winter ice and snow events, but it is now configuring its MDSS for extreme heat in order to forecast heat buckling. Where there is likely to be an extreme weather event, a state DOT may respond in three main ways: through routine operations, pursuant to ETO (Emergency Transportation Operations, which are designed for nonrecurring events), or pursuant to the state’s disaster or emergency response pro- cesses. The approach depends on the scale and duration of the event, among other factors. A commonly cited practice in the extreme weather case examples was the use of an ICS for emergency response at the statewide level and to a lesser degree within state DOTs. Initial decision making on a weather event includes deter- mining likely impacts and the preparedness required. Pre- paredness for flooding, for example, may include clearing culverts, positioning signage, and staging crews. The actual checklist will depend on the type of event, but all states inter- viewed emphasized safety first and ensuring that crews are “hunkered down” as the event draws near. State DOTs will reach out early to federal, state, and local agencies for several reasons, such as to gather more information, fulfill agreed pre-disaster protocols, or pre-position resources in a coor- dinated way. In many cases, FHWA was reached by state DOTs to collaborate well in advance of developing damage assessments that support federal reimbursement of damages. Key tools during preparation and response are a desig- nated physical location, such as an operations center, fixed times for conference calls, and a shared platform for informa- tion transfer, such as SharePoint or WebEOC. Also impor- tant is access to aerial, real-time images, or other geospatial information that helps determine the scope of the event and its potential impacts. For flooding, use of LIDAR elevation data will help determine early on what to protect and where to focus precious resources. Explicit policies that encourage or require coordination across a DOT’s geographic divisions provide focus and struc- ture for a discussion of district or regional needs and enable the elevation of resource issues to higher management. Other prac- tices allow for the sharing of equipment typically used for other events, such as employing fuel vehicles used in hurricane evac- uation or re-entry for wildfire efforts. Extreme weather condi- tions lead some DOT Operations staff to adopt or repurpose plans developed for the type of severe weather events more rou- tinely seen in a region. For example, Wisconsin successfully used its Adverse Conditions Communications Plan for summer heat buckling despite the fact the plan was largely designed for and most commonly used for severe winter weather. Detours are a common issue under extreme weather. Les- sons learned for when a detour is needed include the following: • Thinking “upstream” and closing ramps far before the affected area • Early outreach to other states to agree on global detours • Estimation of the road closure impacts on communities • Securing a thorough understanding of the freight sys- tem, its operational requirements, as well as ways to deploy GIS to most effectively manage detours for commercial vehicles Lessons Learned and Related Practices State Practices, by crosscutting functions Interagency Coordination: Storing applications for federal reimbursement in paper or scanned form with defined retention schedule of projects searchable by event code Alaska Researching structural and operational issues arising under drought response Texas When implementing a new or expanded role that supports the primary mission of a sister agency, such as wildfire control, remain- ing very disciplined as to the state DOT’s exact role and own mission—for example, by adopting the terminology of the lead agency Texas With the increased need to use the EMAC system, considering lessons learned from prior use of resources from out of state Texas Reusing data from Google Maps to populate a database for analyzing trends in heat-buckling sites Wisconsin Using state DOT in-house staff resources to collect and analyze data on extreme weather event impacts in order to support configu- ration of MDSS and future decision making Wisconsin

75 • Communication strategy focused specifically on road closures and affected subsets of stakeholders, includ- ing real time status updates on such closures • Preparation for the inevitable exceptions to road clo- sures, including guidance, criteria, and/or permit system, as well as strong and coordinated law enforce- ment, National Guard, or other shows of authority. During events with short lead times, state DOTs may draft and let contracts for recovery efforts before the weather event is over or the response is finished. IDOT developed a special procurement for a major highway repair, accelerated selection of a contractor, and finished two months ahead of schedule. NJDOT used on-call contractors for repairs after Hurricane Sandy and also managed another division’s on- call design experts on short notice. This approach facilitated getting “boots on the ground” to conduct recovery. Events with long lead times, such as a drought, see more time for preparation and less use of special contracting or the emer- gency response apparatus. The Texas and Wisconsin examples demonstrate the reliance on routine maintenance at the local and regional levels to address pavement distress. Where the extreme weather situation was unusual for the local climate and spanned a season, such as with Wisconsin’s heat-buckling incidents, the state DOT successfully used the statewide traf- fic control center to address the problem. In Wisconsin, as a result, state-level managers received hourly updates while using county resources for the patching. This activity was con- ducted under a special adverse weather policy derived from an ETO plan. In contrast, increased pavement distress during the 2011 drought in Texas was managed largely at the district level. State DOTs will operate its response to an extreme weather event under the rubric of the state emergency man- agement function when it is activated by the Governor. This activity is described more fully here in a section devoted to the topic. However, emergency management influences many operational decisions and the following are key les- sons learned for stepping down the statewide emergency management process into a DOT organization and standing up an internal ICS or similar tool within a state DOT: • Ensure the ICS is at the appropriate scope for the event • Ensure teams, both regional and headquarter, and employee roles are pre-assigned, as informed by knowledge of employee experience, skill sets, and familiarity with other potential team members • Ensure teams have broad expertise, including design professionals, HR, and so forth • Conduct training in ICS ahead of time and at the time of the event • Include other agencies in the DOT’s internal ICS, including FHWA • Train project officers to work with FHWA and state and local representatives • Clarify the jurisdictional boundaries of a field ICS, given the multiple agencies involved and their training and inclination to stick to their own boundaries • Ensure explicit de-mobilization that among other things prepares personnel for the typical short- and long-term feelings and reactions to extreme weather deployments. Maintenance State DOTs will anticipate the need to brief or instruct their maintenance staff on emerging weather issues, such as changing winter maintenance requirements in Alaska, drought issues in Texas, river management in Vermont, and heat buckling in Wisconsin. When a specific type of event is actually forecast, state DOTs will utilize their maintenance crews to clear or otherwise prepare the state highway right- of-way for the impacts of the extreme weather event. Les- sons learned from recent storms include designating central garages or other state structures as staging areas. Another lesson learned is to develop a statewide equipment inventory ahead of time so that resources can be readied and possibly transferred to an affected site. State DOTs also will desig- nate the stages of its response ahead of time. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, for example, NJDOT mapped out key acti- vation times in advance based on weather conditions and the likely milestones for the storm, including times when crews needed to get out of harm’s way. TxDOT’s participation and contributions to wildfire control during a persistent drought demonstrate the strong management needed to ensure safety and a focus on agency mission. TxDOT instructs its employees that “we are not firemen” and trains them in the scope of its support to fire management agencies, which includes fuel, water, and sig- nage transport as well as local use of the right-of-way for wildfire messaging. After the 30,000 Texas wildfires in 2011, TxDOT invested in two trailers that serve as training sites in the field and include fire protection equipment in case of an emergency. States DOTs have a general policy of not conducting oper- ations outside of the state right-of-way. TxDOT maintains this policy even (and especially) under a wildfire situation but will go outside the right-of-way under an imminent threat to life or property, and only then to conduct firebreak activities. In Ten- nessee, TDOT reported that it expected its crews to only react to problems on the state right-of-way for tornadoes occurring during a once-in-1,000-years flood event. In contrast, in a less hazardous situation, while removing debris post-Sandy, NJDOT quickly elevated a request for approval to clear side streets that were off the state right-of-way, when accessibility was important to community recovery. In the aftermath of some extreme weather events, state DOTs have begun to pay more attention to maintenance

76 and tracking repairs and costs associated with new forms of weather. When rebuilding is completed, maintenance crews will watch for follow-on problems, such as sinkholes after flooding. They will circle back for permanent fixes where there has been temporary patching and will inspect repairs over a period of time. In response to an extreme weather event, Wisconsin sought to address future maintenance issues by conducting research and developing a tool to help identify potentially problematic locations during future high heat events. Design Extreme weather events implicate design issues and pro- cesses in several ways. After Sandy, the immediacy of recov- ery needs spurred NJDOT Operations to bring in design experts who were on call with NJDOT’s planning division, and this cross-divisional coordination facilitated rebuilding. TDOT included design professionals on assessment teams to work through recovery issues that would support later fed- eral reimbursement. One key design decision, for example, required TDOT to secure FHWA approval to construct a bet- terment project rather than rebuild. Setting detours away from likely flood zones implicates highway design in Washington State because heavier traffic on unimproved roads may produce severe facility damage, including slope failures. Also WisDOT’s materials engineer is investing time and resources into design issues relating to heat buckling, especially for urban settings where traffic backups are a priority issue. In response to severe flooding under Irene, VTrans has taken a comprehensive approach to the design issues that surfaced during recovery from Irene. First, the simplified design approach it adopted for Irene recovery projects is influencing its routine decision process. Data sets identi- fied and used during Irene recovery, such as information from maintenance route logs, may continue to influence the design of projects. VTrans is also seeking to ensure that design criteria for infrastructure meets the projected needs of transportation infrastructure, such as enabling a bridge to withstand a flood. More broadly, the state is seeking resil- iency with respect to the type of weather events projected for the future. It is noteworthy that federal policy and programs are changing, particularly as they relate to some of the design issues implicated in recovery decisions. An outline of these changes is beyond the scope of this report; however, it is useful to bear in mind that these changes may produce dif- ferent considerations and possibly more favorable outcomes for state DOTs in the future. Federal policy as it existed in 2011 had influenced key design choices in the IDOT case, for example. The flooding in the summer of 2011 was pro- longed, with weeks of standing water. IDOT determined that in order to complete re-construction of I-680 by the end of the 180-day federal timeline (that was required to secure 100% reimbursement of the project cost) it would conduct a design-build based on the design plans from the 1960s. It also expedited the recovery work by contracting for inspection services. Through these efforts, reconstruc- tion was completed on schedule, so the state received 100% reimbursement. Recent rule changes can allow for the clock to start after the flood recedes which will mean more design time, most likely under fuller information. Construction Extreme weather events have led to accelerated work in state DOT construction offices. As noted elsewhere in this report, construction offices in the case examples have taken approaches that are atypical for their states, such as pre- determined contract rates for inspectors in Iowa. In Tennes- see, the construction office worked quickly with FHWA staff to draft, let, and post online 11 contracts over a 2- or 3-day period, even before the flood waters had receded. Their les- son learned is to have “off-the-shelf” boilerplate contractual language on hand for such circumstances in the future. In the wake of Irene, VTrans is streamlining its construction office processes, exploring new construction techniques, and providing incentives for towns to shut down bridges and roads completely during construction, for safety and to accelerate construction. TxDOT uses in-house and outside expert advice to address design and construction issues aris- ing from pavement degradation exacerbated by the severe drought, including seeking understanding on how heavier truck traffic from energy development compounds pavement distress problems. Planning and Related Activities State DOT planning offices play critical roles in applying GIS capabilities to response and recovery problems. In Iowa, the state DOT planning office determined that flood maps supplied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were not suf- ficient for their purposes and used LIDAR maps to deter- mine the areas vulnerable to the flood releases upstream. The maps also helped resolve which IDOT assets would be under threat and those which would likely be safe, saving precious time and resources in triaging actions before the flooding took place. In Tennessee, TDOT acquired LIDAR in the aftermath of its once-in-1,000-years flood. It currently anticipates issues in reconciling its data with those of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, so it is seeking to resolve that problem in advance of the next event. State DOT planning staff is enlisted to put together reports that preserve lessons learned. In Vermont, for example, VTrans determined that it needed an Emergency Response plan and that it needed to refine its Continuity of Operations Plan after Irene; these documents will pull in the

77 lessons learned in ICS management from the Irene experi- ence. Maintaining a presence on multiagency committees and related workgroups proves helpful to state DOTs because such engagement maintains communication and relation- ships in addition to the primary task of addressing risks. Examples of such participation include TxDOT’s work on the state’s drought preparedness council and the Emergency Management Steering Committee convened by TDOT. In Alaska, the Statewide Maintenance and Operations Chief stays abreast of the snow, climate change, and other projections released by the NOAA-funded program in the state responsible for informing the public on these issues. The chief cites projected increases in storm severity and unpredictability as a reason he is looking to expand snow dump space in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. To better plan for extreme weather events, states are requiring more training in ICS for transportation staff as well as more specialized training addressing the particular issues extreme weather poses for their state. In the case of Vermont, VTrans is requiring general ICS training, river management training for decision makers, and highly technical training in river dynamics for its engineers. TDOT has required its managers to take a course in GIS for freight rerouting to pre- pare for detours under flooding and other conditions. TDOT is also conducting more training on the post-event damage assessment process to support federal reimbursement. Two case example states, Washington and New Jersey, were also pilot states for FHWA climate change vulnerabil- ity studies, which examined risks to transportation infra- structure under projected changes. These planning efforts have informed thinking on where to invest for extreme weather events. In New Jersey, the state has identified $2 billion in projects to increase resiliency. VTrans reports that it also is seeking to buttress efforts to fund more resilient projects, for example, by clarifying its practices in a hydrau- lic manual rewrite. Crosscutting Issues Communications Every state uses a 511 system of some kind to communicate to the public information about highway conditions. This may be supplemented by social media, smart-phone applica- tions, and other channels of information as a routine service. Under extreme weather scenarios, states have developed online, publicly available traffic maps where they did not already have them. VTrans enlisted its IT and GIS staff to work with Google to develop an online map which showed all road closures in real time. This became a resource for VTrans, its stakeholders, the general public, as well as other agencies supporting various constituencies, such as tourists. In many instances state DOTs quickly established call-in centers during the extreme weather events. It was important to have enough staff to tend to these centers. The same is true for managing and updating social media sites. Under an emergency response situation, WSDOT ensured it had a “communicator” in each of its regional operations centers, with the following duties: • Responding to media calls for updates • Facilitating media interviews with key WSDOT personnel • Updating WSDOT’s traffic web pages • Posting closure information on web pages • Updating Highway Advisory Radio messages • Crafting alert messages for the 511 Traveler Information System • Monitoring media coverage of the storm. The results of this strategy included the public’s high use of the web page and the local news media running WSDOT- supplied road closures as a ticker on the bottom of the televi- sion screen. Where electronic forms of communication are not available, the Washington state example is also a model for strong communication by more traditional means: When WSDOT needed to close down Interstate 5, it sent postcards to truckers that might be making the trip on that corridor, handed fliers out at truck stops, and used a trailer to pull a message board around truck stops. Both WSDOT and IDOT provided examples of interacting directly with freight hauler associations to work through issues associated with an event’s impacts. To get its message out to a broad audience, VTrans transported the media to flooded sites and made staff available for interviews. In the field, state DOTs use dynamic messaging boards, including ones set on trailers. Under emergency response procedures in Texas, TxDOT will work through the state emergency management office on the proper message regard- ing wildfires for its dynamic message boards. Wisconsin handled the heat buckling risk in the summer of 2012 under normal procedures rather than emergency response but used its Adverse Conditions Communications Plan and developed a press release focused on risk communication. The press release and related interviews by WisDOT conveyed the fol- lowing message to the public: The risk of heat buckling is high but is for a defined period; there is a technical explanation for the problem; WisDOT knows the number of buckling inci- dents; it takes crews a short amount of time to fix them; there is local participation in the effort through counties; and there is a need for the public to be prepared. WisDOT also supplied a simple list of safety tips. This brief, clear public safety message was picked up by the media, providing a caution to the public. Interagency Coordination In all case examples in this report, the state DOTs’ emergency response procedures may direct very specific forms of coor-

78 dination. State DOTs often brought the FHWA in early and maintained the agency as a partner throughout, even as states challenged FHWA rulings regarding federal financial support. In some cases, state DOTs lead coordination efforts dur- ing the extreme weather event. Such leadership is seen in Vermont, which spearheaded response and recovery given the dramatic impact of Irene on the state infrastructure. In the case of Iowa, IDOT convened an internal flood team that served as an internal ICS before, during, and after the event. In Tennessee and Vermont, a lesson learned by the DOTs was that more offices could have been brought in earlier, such as human resources in Tennessee and an environmen- tal liaison in Vermont. However, in both instances the events were far beyond the scope of impacts experienced previously in those states. State DOTs used active coordination with other divisions as well as stakeholders across the state government in order to facilitate interstate travel, effectively utilize National Guards troops, and execute evacuations, often by temporar- ily waiving certain rules. VTrans worked internally with its motor vehicle division to waive time and weight require- ments for vehicles seeking to bring various forms of aid to the state. NJDOT addressed similar issues, and it is develop- ing a permitting process to clear interstate carriers through in advance of the extreme weather event impacts. During Sandy, NJDOT worked with an external but closely allied partner, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, to waive tolls on the toll routes leading out from the Jersey Shore in order to facilitate evacuation. In Alaska, the ADOT&PF waived substantial ferry fees (totaling about $5,000) for more than 50 National Guard members who needed to take a ferry to snow-trapped Cordova when the Cordova airport had been shut down. Deploying the National Guard has important implica- tions for some agency relationships. Use of the National Guard sends a message to the public that an extreme weather event has attention at the highest level of state gov- ernment. In those instances, the state DOT and its partners, very often local law enforcement, find ways to integrate and utilize the National Guard troops at a time when they are managing their own personnel. Coordination is important at the most local level, with the National Guard requiring a clear understanding of the chain of command. Active coordination is required especially where a National Guard troop’s task is not a part of their core training. For exam- ple, an issue over the proper alignment of skill sets was observed when troops did not know the correct methods for debris removal from Vermont riverbanks and the environ- mentally sensitive areas nearby. Inserting National Guard troops and other forms of extraordinary support into an emergency response situation can require an understand- ing of the communication technologies needed and those actually on hand. For example, there was a mismatch of communications equipment in the Washington state case, which required added time to resolve. State DOTs routinely work with FHWA on many issues, and this ongoing relationship aids coordination before, dur- ing, and after extreme weather events. Iowa, Tennessee and other states embedded FHWA in their ICS. Iowa interacted with FEMA through the state’s emergency management office, whereas Tennessee embedded its own staff on FEMA teams that came to the state. New or increased occurrences of extreme weather may lead to federal program reimburse- ment requests that present new program or legal issues for resolution. Early coordination with FHWA in the face of extreme weather events has helped secure reimbursement. For example, in 2011, TxDOT asked for and received reim- bursement for the cost of removing dead trees scorched by wildfires that might have fallen into the roadway. This was a new precedent and TxDOT ascribes FHWA’s support to early coordination. A federal partner important to state DOTs is NOAA, whose NWS provides the regional and local forecasts that a state will rely on, such as flash flood, ice, and snow pro- jections. ADOT&PF has taken advantage of other NOAA products, including post-storm reviews that evaluate the effectiveness of NOAA weather products. ADOT&PF also engages in the NOAA-sponsored RISA (the aforementioned Regional Integrated Science Applications) in Alaska, using RISA outputs to support development of winter mainte- nance practices. As needed, the state DOT may serve as a facilitator on issues arising at the field level, often when the issues impli- cate interstate transportation. For example, IDOT facilitated discussion among railway interests and local authorities as the railway companies sought track repairs to keep western coal moving to East Coast power plants during the prolonged 2011 flood. Data and Knowledge Management Personnel responsible for planning at state DOTs consider ways to identify and manage the data and information needed before, during, and after an extreme weather event. For example, IDOT decided to invest in LIDAR after a 2008 flooding event, and these data sets were very useful dur- ing the 2011 flood described in this Synthesis Report. After 2010’s once-in-1,000-years flood, Tennessee invested in LIDAR; as noted earlier, TDOT is actively reviewing now, ahead of any future flood, the possible disconnects between its LIDAR data sets and those data sets used by key partners such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. VTrans is seek- ing to ensure there are custodians for key data sets useful during recovery efforts. Multiple state DOTs have developed training on the FHWA and FEMA reimbursement process and this training has emphasized the importance of securing

79 photos and the exact location of damage, as well as require- ments for records retention. During an event, state DOTs attempt to share information in several ways. They schedule calls at fixed times. They also collaborate through webinars, Share Point, or WebEOC applications. Geospatial data can be difficult to share by e-mail or verbally, so some states have found ways to col- laborate, such as IDOT’s “sit-downs” on GIS issues around the time of its broader planning call. IDOT also facilitated access to GIS experts in the actual assessment process that would support federal reimbursement applications. Google Maps has been a key tool for state DOTs. One reason is because there is the option to make the maps publicly avail- able, and they can be set to deliver real-time information. In the case of heat buckling, where pavement damage was tem- porary, Wisconsin chose to make the Google Map available to a more limited group that included senior management. With respect to weather and climate information, states rely on NWS and contracted weather reporting, as noted earlier. VTrans is encouraging early adoption of important commu- nication technologies to facilitate information sharing dur- ing the next extreme weather event. After recovery from an extreme weather event is well under way or complete, state DOTs conduct after-event exer- cises to capture lessons learned. Emergency Response pro- tocols call for AARs (After Action Reports), and these often serve as the record of the event institutionally. One example of a typical AAR is seen in the 2007 case example in Wash- ington. To provide details on the Alaska case, however, the ADOT&PF interviewee referred back to the daily reports issued by the state’s emergency management office from the time period. Some AARs discuss the event only, oth- ers broaden the scope, and still others take the opportunity to make much more universal recommendations, such as in the case of Iowa’s statewide AAR supporting the Governor’s task force report. Federal agencies will produce post-event reports, such as those developed by NOAA that provides a technical analysis of the event and the federal agency’s actions. As noted else- where, Alaska’s Chief of Statewide Maintenance and Opera- tions reviews the post-event reports created by NOAA and also provides briefings to the NOAA-funded climate center in Alaska. His briefings are intended to enable stakeholders to learn about the issues ADOT&PF viewed as important during extreme weather events and how it is addressing them going forward. After Irene, VTrans conducted an exercise that was much broader than an AAR, involving workshops and interviews with multiple stakeholders. Vermont’s effort resulted in the Irene Recovery Innovation Task Force Report, which covers both VTrans modernization efforts and practical suggestions for emergency response and for “ongoing operations.” Iowa’s Governor formed a task force, which also developed a report that serves as an important statewide narrative about the 2011 flood. TxDOT commissioned a lengthy survey of best prac- tices for TxDOT in supporting wildfire suppression, and it also provided technical responses to inquiries from the state legislature. Vermont was involved in convening a regional exercise to share the perspectives and lessons learned by states in the northeastern United States in the aftermath of Hurricanes Lee and Irene. Many important ideas on informa- tion management surfaced in that forum. One major example was the need to share weather forecast and impacts informa- tion during an event so that others “know what’s coming.” The form and content of these event narratives vary greatly, but they capture data, information, knowledge, analysis, and ideas useful to managing future events. Another response to extreme weather events is the pro- duction of purely technical studies to support decision mak- ing. For example, after the 2007 extreme weather event in Washington State, WSDOT requested a synthesis of all tech- nical studies conducted on the Chehalis River Basin. That Chehalis River flooding had closed down a major interstate, I-5, for the third time in 25 years provided context and per- spective for decision making inside and outside of WSDOT. After a major heat event in 2012, WisDOT developed data- base of 300 heat-buckling locations, and their profiles. As a result, its engineers can study conditions and identify trends on this problem. States are considering issues related to maintaining institutional memory so that key technical facts about prior weather events are not lost. At the meeting of northeastern states noted previously, there was discussion of succession planning as well as the need to facilitate temporary rehiring of former employees with institutional knowledge important to managing an extreme weather event. The case examples in this report represent diverse pro- grams, issues, and responses. Each state DOT was com- pelled to capture what they learned from the extreme weather events, and every exercise included interagency or interdisciplinary stakeholders. No state DOT wanted to rein- vent the wheel the next time, and greater collaboration in information sharing was viewed as yielding a higher return on investment. Additional Issues The case examples in chapter two presented information on state DOT responses to extreme weather events based on common state DOT functions: Operations, Maintenance, Design, Construction, Planning, Communications, Inter- agency Coordination, and Data and Knowledge Manage- ment. Other notable topics emerged from the synthesis of case examples. These topics include financial issues, Emer- gency Response, the influence of event type, multimodal

80 aspects, impacts to local transportation infrastructure, and what might be described as change management in the face of new or increased extreme weather events. Financial In addressing extreme weather events, state DOTs focus significant attention on the process for receiving federal reimbursement for the costs from extreme weather damage. Major reimbursement programs for damage to transporta- tion infrastructure are the FHWA Emergency Relief (ER) program and FEMA Public Assistance (PA). For wildfire damage, states will look to Fire Management Assistance Grants. Recent law and policy changes make other programs available for planning and for rebuilding costs; however, the case examples in chapter two focus on the terms of the FHWA ER and the FEMA PA programs as they existed at the time of the disaster. The FHWA and FEMA programs are very important resources for state DOTs experiencing severe impacts from an extreme weather event, even before the event’s impacts are felt. Significant attention and resources are focused on the successful reimbursement of costs, including staff train- ing and in-house streamlining of the application process. In preparation for such events, states have sought to edu- cate their employees on the FHWA and FEMA programs and processes. Alaska and New Jersey, as previously noted, provide examples of very instructive presentations by state DOTs, and these are included as appendices to this report. Prior to the 2011 flood, IDOT had ensured that staff was trained to be project officers on federal reimbursement issues. In post-Irene recovery, VTrans is seeking to have a state attorney dedicated to these issues and has hired and contracted experts to provide technical assistance to com- munities on these programs. State DOTs facilitate the reimbursement process in other ways. ADOT&PF is flexible in allowing the creation of job codes, even when the projects associated with a code may “go nowhere.” NJDOT set up a job code early on, before Sandy’s geographical path was clear. By doing, NJDOT was ready when the President implemented his disaster declara- tion retroactively, allowing NJDOT to capture costs incurred in preparedness efforts under that job code. TxDOT uses col- laboration sites to build up the paper work needed by FHWA and FEMA. To work better with FHWA, IDOT built its own “electronic DDIR” system that ultimately saved many hours of staff time before, during, and after the 2011 flood. It can be highlighted that state DOTs provide services even when the likelihood of federal reimbursement is not at all cer- tain. In states with rural areas with a large geographic scope, such as Washington, Texas, and Wisconsin, state DOTs some- times weigh the benefit of federal reimbursement against the administrative resources needed to secure it. Almost always, they provide the services needed in rural or unincorporated areas even when they will not be reimbursed. Emergency Response Prior TRB reports, such as NCHRP Report 525: A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agen- cies, discuss the Emergency Response principles of state DOTs (Wallace et al. 2010). In almost every extreme weather situation depicted in the case examples in chapter two, state DOTs sought to utilize emergency response processes at some scale. Where there was no emergency response, there was a state-level awareness of the problem, as in the case of the Wis- consin and Texas pavement-distress examples. The IDOT case serves as an example of a maturing emer- gency response system with respect to extreme weather events, with the development of an ETO as another indicator of Iowa’s focus in this area. VTrans, although prepared for the worst of winter weather and prior levels of severe flash flooding, had to confront the impact of a new causal chain of weather events and built up an ICS to address transpor- tation issues virtually from scratch. Both states developed excellent reports on the lessons learned and practices they found effective for emergency response under those extreme weather events. Key points include prior training in ICS, pre- assigned roles and teams, and access to data depicting the scope of the event. In New Jersey, NJDOT operated effec- tively within the state’s Emergency Management apparatus during response to Hurricane Sandy. Influence of Event Type The type of extreme weather event has an influence on a state DOT’s management approach and is a key consider- ation when comparing the lessons learned and effective practices identified in this report. If the event is unusual for the climate, then the state may not have set process in place for addressing it. In Texas, TxDOT crews routinely patrol for cracks and other pavement distress caused by heat. Up north, Wisconsin has protocols for tracking damage to pavement from winter conditions, which is the routine source of severe weather. After the 2012 heat-buckling event, WisDOT conducted research and began to configure its MDSS to forecast for not just adverse winter conditions but those arising from high heat. TxDOT’s expen- ditures were 20 times that of WisDOT. Additionally, the type of weather event can demand actions that conflict with another set of state DOT protocols or priorities. Employees must use their best judgment or await directives from management in those instances. • For example, where a tornado occurs while flood waters are rising, one must decide whether to shelter in place

81 or head to higher ground. In these instances, TDOT, for example, stresses to its field crews that safety comes first and will work with them to communicate the latest forecasts and other relevant information. • In the case of wildfire suppression, TxDOT employees are instructed that they do not fight fires. However, the agency is expected to provide critical fuel and water supplies to those fighting the fire, so it invested in two TxDOT trailers that include protective gear if the fires get too close. • When a snowstorm interrupted Sandy storm surge clean-up, NJDOT crews evacuated the shore area and quickly moved from emergency response to routine snow maintenance activities. It was a new and disrup- tive element in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Having the Chief of Operations Support available to manage the situation aided the shift in efforts for that short period of time. The type of event can influence decision making when it is a prolonged event, as opposed to a more acute situation. Lessons learned from Iowa’s weeks of inundation may be different from those learned during the once-in-1,000-years flood that came and went within a week in Tennessee. Simi- larly, geographical distinctions may matter when compar- ing cases. Flash floods in Vermont’s mountain river basins may be very different from flooding on the plains of Iowa but similar to those occurring in western Washington State. That said, strategies on detours and the need for outreach to freight carriers may have commonalities in all three cases. Multimodal Aspects State DOTs often manage more than state and federal road- ways. Their role may include direct responsibility over other forms of transportation, such as transit in the case of NJDOT. State DOTs may regulate but not own transportation infra- structure, especially at the local level, such as Vermont’s role in state railways. An extreme weather event implicates the interplay among modes, such as where closure of a roadway affects the volume of traffic on another mode of transporta- tion. In the case of Iowa, closure of I-680 saw freight haul- ers using alternate modes of transportation, including rail, to convey their goods. Emergency response protocols can drive coordination efforts, as seen in the ICS model. Cli- mate change and its broad range of extreme weather risks implicates multimodal planning, as seen in the highway and transit components of the New Jersey pilot study on climate vulnerability, funded by FHWA. Local Transportation Infrastructure The case examples in chapter two largely focus on a state- wide perspective of extreme weather events because that is the mission of state DOTs. However, as one interviewee put it: “All emergencies are local.” This approach means that field crews and local law enforcement typically are the people on the ground when state DOT mission requirements are implicated. Two key issues related to local transportation infrastruc- ture emerged from the case examples: (1) the need to ensure local infrastructure can handle traffic diverted from state roads during an extreme weather event and (2) the need to address damage to local infrastructure where the cost far exceeds the resources of a locality to fix it. Regarding detours, state DOTs typically make sure to develop detours that local roads can handle, in terms of weight and other traffic volume characteristics. State DOTs do not want these to exceed the design standards of the detour. The WSDOT interviewee pointed out that WSDOT can be asked to pay when its detours damage local roads. As a result, the agency evaluates the impact on the slopes and pavement from detours. Based on engineering and other considerations, WSDOT engaged in some important activities after the 2007 event that support improved detours. WSDOT introduced a detour planning and permit system useable throughout the state. WSDOT also joined with part- ners in researching and developing a map and other tools that identify state and local transportation infrastructure vulner- able to climate change impacts (State of Washington Depart- ment of Ecology 2012). Regarding damage to local transportation infrastruc- ture, the cases indicate two sample practices of note. First, immediately after Sandy, NJDOT made it easy for its crews on the ground to elevate the issue of whether they should clear side streets of debris. Although the side streets were off the state DOT’s right-of-way, it was in the best interests of the state to make it easier for local authorities and resi- dents to return and undertake their own recovery activities, including those related to local transportation infrastruc- ture. Second, in Vermont, VTrans encouraged cost-sharing rule changes designed to increase state support to dam- aged local infrastructure. VTrans also helped create a new scheme wherein the state pays for those local transportation infrastructure repairs that require an increase in local taxes above a certain amount. Change Management The case examples in chapter two describe how state DOTs are developing or maturing their responses to extreme weather events. As noted previously, a common theme is the increased use of emergency management approaches in some form. Washington State, as the oldest example in this set of cases, provides a clear-cut example of an evolu- tion in a state DOT’s response to extreme weather. In 2007, its emergency operations staff numbered three or four; in 2013, the division had more than 40 people and an air-res- cue function it previously did not have. That growth is a

82 significant organizational change. Iowa also matured in its management of extreme flood events between 2008 floods and those in 2011. Changes included an electronic federal aid reimbursement system and investment in LIDAR data sets. In Vermont, the Irene experience triggered an impor- tant shift at VTrans, as indicated by plans within its design and construction sections to mainstream new bridge con- struction approaches by 2014. An important trend is seen in the recent shifts in federal pol- icy and law. Several states have embraced changes that allow for the consideration of future extreme weather risks, which is a break from the belief that rebuilding simply to “pre-disaster” conditions is satisfactory. In every case example, strategic Data and Knowledge Management supported learning and more efficient use of information resources, demonstrating that these practices are important aspects of change management.

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TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 454: Response to Extreme Weather Impacts on Transportation Systems examines eight recent cases of extreme weather in the United States from the perspectives of transportation operations, maintenance, design, construction, planning, communications, interagency coordination, and data and knowledge management.

Appendices C-H are only available in the PDF version of the report.

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