Public Road Vulnerability Massachusetts: Structural Condition and Flood Risk

Authors: Isabel Mezzina*, UMass Amherst
Topics: Transportation Geography, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Environment
Keywords: Climate Change, Transportation, Environment, Natural Disaster, Flooding
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download



The primary objective of this study is to determine roads of highest vulnerability in the state of Massachusetts according to two factors: structural condition rating and proximity to areas of high flooding risk. Deteriorating infrastructure in Massachusetts is becoming an issue of increasing severity - as the state already has struggled with poor infrastructure quality and low transportation spending for decades - while the risk of flooding escalates due to our rapidly changing climate and intensifying storms. The crux of these two factors poses acute environmental problems as well as public safety complications. The need to address the dilemma of inadequate infrastructure will only grow as the impending threat of climate change looms in the near future, ultimately leading to disruption in our transportation systems. This study utilizes geographic information science data provided by the federal and state governments in evaluating the regions at greatest risk and in need of urgent attention. The intention is ultimately to target specific road segments which require additional resources and maintenance in order to improve public safety and promote the implementation of environmental infrastructure. As storm magnitude increases and flooding rates surge, having this information will become vital to the state of Massachusetts in protecting its citizens and communities.

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