Following the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) developed the Vermont Transportation Resilience Planning Tool (TRPT), a web-based application that identifies bridges, culverts, and road embankments that are vulnerable to damage from floods, estimates risk based on the vulnerability, and criticality of roadway segments, and identifies potential mitigation measures based on the factors driving the vulnerability. The TRPT was developed with funding from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, FHWA planning funds, and matching state transportation dollars.
The TRPT combines river science, hydraulics and transportation planning methods and is applied at a watershed scale. The TRPT was developed and tested in three pilot watersheds and VTrans, in partnership with Regional Planning Commissions, is adding seven watersheds, and ultimately will complete the entire state.
By using the TRPT, VTrans is able to identify vulnerabilities in a proactive manner to avoid or mitigate against the impacts of future damages in the most critical, highest risk locations. VTrans utilized the TRPT to support a successful application for FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation funding for roadway and river channel improvements to reduce future flood damage along VT Route 9, a National Highway System roadway across southern Vermont. From a systemwide perspective, output from the TRPT is being used as a criterion in the VTrans project selection and prioritization process so that flood resilience is integrated in the agency’s investment decisions. The TRPT also is supporting local and regional hazard mitigation planning.
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