Crisis response planning in tunnel and road networks

Wheatley, Andrew & Barnes, Paul H. (2015) Crisis response planning in tunnel and road networks. In Barnes, Paul H. & Goonetilleke, Ashantha (Eds.) Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference of the International Institute for Infrastructure Renewal and Reconstruction (8-10 July 2013), Queensland University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 270-281.

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Critical road infrastructure (such as tunnels and overpasses) is of major significance to society and constitutes major components of interdependent, ‘systems and networks’. Failure in critical components of these wide area infrastructure systems can often result in cascading disturbances with secondary and tertiary impacts - some of which may become initiating sources of failure in their own right, triggering further systems failures across wider networks. Perrow1) considered the impact of our increasing use of technology in high-risk fields, analysing the implications on everyday life and argued that designers of these types of infrastructure systems cannot predict every possible failure scenario nor create perfect contingency plans for operators.

Challenges exist for transport system operators in the conceptualisation and implementation of response and subsequent recovery planning for significant events. Disturbances can vary from reduced traffic flow causing traffic congestion throughout the local road network(s) and subsequent possible loss of income to businesses and industry to a major incident causing loss of life or complete loss of an asset.

Many organisations and institutions, despite increasing recognition of the effects of crisis events, are not adequately prepared to manage crises2). It is argued that operators of land transport infrastructure are in a similar category of readiness given the recent instances of failures in road tunnels. These unexpected infrastructure failures, and their ultimately identified causes, suggest there is significant room for improvement. As a result, risk profiles for road transport systems are often complex due to the human behaviours and the inter-mix of technical and organisational components and the managerial coverage needed for the socio-technical components and the physical infrastructure. In this sense, the span of managerial oversight may require new approaches to asset management that combines the notion of risk and continuity management. This paper examines challenges in the planning of response and recovery practices of owner/operators of transport systems (above and below ground) in Australia covering:

• Ageing or established infrastructure; and • New-build infrastructure.

With reference to relevant international contexts this paper seeks to suggest options for enhancing the planning and practice for crisis response in these transport networks and as a result support the resilience of Critical Infrastructure.

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ID Code: 61481
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Conference held July 2013. Proceedings published online March 2015.
Keywords: CEDM, Risk-informed Disaster Management: Planning for Response, Recovery and Resilience
ISBN: 9781921897733
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > INTERDISCIPLINARY ENGINEERING (091500) > Risk Engineering (excl. Earthquake Engineering) (091507)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 22 Jul 2013 01:22
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2015 09:38

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