National Academies Press: OpenBook
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"CONCLUSION." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Resilience Primer for Transportation Executives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26195.
Page 28

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23 CONCLUSION Many of the challenges you face as a CEO will revolve around the resiliency of the transportation system. How well your system can withstand events and how quickly your agency can restore services when they are impacted determines your regional economy, your state population’s mobility and safety, and possibly your tenure. The public and their political representatives expect you to anticipate these events, have plans and take actions to mitigate the consequences, and be able to respond quickly when necessary. No matter what your state’s experiences have been––historically few disruptive events or many––you are responsible to manage existing infrastructure, improve the reliability and safety of the transportation network, and ensure the continuation of operations during and after emergencies. Your end users of transportation assets and infrastructure expect you to do what's needed to make the systems they count on resilient. The greatest gains in resilience occur when it is woven throughout a transportation agency ––in planning and design, asset management and risk management, operations and maintenance, and performance management. As infrastructure agencies, transportation agencies are exceptionally positioned to take resilience actions, even when efforts to build community resilience can be complicated. Many stakeholders–– federal, state and local departments and agencies, national and community organizations, and the public––are involved in regional community resilience work. Goals can differ substantially, and differing interests want to tailor outcomes to their particular needs. Your involvement as the DOT CEO is a major part of securing community commitment to investment in resilience, building important partnerships across regions, sectors, and transportation modes. Fortunately, you are not alone. Engage with your peers to share your experiences. Make use of their replicable successes; learn from their disappointments; discuss your own challenges and ideas. Resilience thrives on conversation and collaboration.

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CEOs of departments of transportation (DOTs) face many challenges, including some that will have serious impacts on people's mobility and safety, and possibly on the tenure of CEOs. Many of these challenges revolve around the resilience of the transportation system—how well it can withstand disruptions from natural causes, catastrophic failures of the infrastructure or cyber events, and how quickly the agency can restore services when they are impacted.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 976: Resilience Primer for Transportation Executives provides a quick grounding in resilience benefits, the CEO’s role in resilience, and approaches taken in various states to increase the resilience of their transportation system. It also offers concepts and tools to lead agencies toward greater resilience.

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