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ADOT launches effort to study effects of extreme weather on infrastructure

Department one of several agencies chosen for pilot program
November 05, 2013
PHOENIX – Arizona’s transportation infrastructure is vital to our mobility and our quality of life. Creating a reliable and sustainable state highway system means making an investment for future generations. Part of that investment involves assessing our current system and evaluating long-term needs.

The Arizona Department of Transportation was recently selected to participate in a new federally funded pilot project that aims to enhance the department’s stewardship of our state’s transportation infrastructure, while underscoring the importance of maintaining a sound environment and a robust economy. The pilot program is managed by the Federal Highway Administration. A total of 19 agencies nationwide were selected to participate. ADOT’s 12-month study gets underway this week.

In Arizona, long-term drought, punctuated by an increasing number of unusually intense storm events, is likely to result in a greater prevalence of floods, dust storms and wildfires that could impact vulnerable infrastructure. By assessing Arizona’s critical transportation infrastructure, ADOT can set a course that will increase long-term resiliency, protect our state’s transportation infrastructure investment, and identify best practices for preparing for, responding to and recovering from these events.

The federal pilot program is an opportunity for ADOT to advance a decision-making framework of data and stakeholder collaboration to assess state transportation infrastructure vulnerability to extreme weather events, and identify proactive planning strategies to reduce risk. Understanding future conditions is essential to ADOT’s mission for a safe, efficient state transportation system that keeps people and business moving.

The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Environment, Planning and Realty and Office of Infrastructure are jointly sponsoring the pilot program to help state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations and federal land management agencies conduct extreme weather assessments of transportation infrastructure, and analyze options for adapting and improving resiliency.