Post-crisis Transport Infrastructure
Post-crisis infrastructure works, whether required due to natural or 'man made' events, present unique challenges. These needs are not encountered in the everyday relatively ordered environment of planning, design, construction and maintenance of roads and other transport infrastructure facilities. Occurrences such as severe storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunami, landslides or the aftermath of civil strife or military action can generate a vital demand for transport infrastructure rehabilitation in very compressed timescales and without the benefit of the support and 'enabling' environment normally in place for everyday transport infrastructure management. Developing countries can be severely impacted by natural and man-made disasters and vulnerable groups and the poor suffer disproportionately from the effects of these events.
Many governments and organisations across the international community have now come to recognise the importance of being prepared for these events, and over recent years have set out to develop their capacities and capabilities to manage the consequences of crisis events utilising the resources likely to be available . Even developing countries, where routine transport infrastructure operations can pose considerable challenges, there are substantial benefits for planning for such eventualities. This is particularly relevant for areas of known high risk. Although this preparedness process might often be at a relatively early stage of development in many areas, initiatives are being taken across the international scene where professionals are to be found preparing emergency plans for dealing with events at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. Such emergency planning activities should also involve training and the testing of the arrangements if possible.
The timely restoration of damaged transport infrastructure deserves effective attention at an operational level within the framework of strategic and tactical directions from senior management. The restoration of essential transport facilities at the operational level can involve the mobilisation of a wide range of local resources and the community, but major disaster events are likely to require wider support including that of the international bodies. Operational assistance, wherever possible, is also desirable at a local level from professionals with experience in the restoration of post-crisis failures in a timely manner.
Transport professionals will often be working in a situation of breakdown of services, communications and support systems and with a traumatised community. Resources may be scarce and ingenuity will be required to quickly restore basic services and facilities as quickly as possible with what is readily available. Useful guiding principles for professionals who may find themselves, either voluntarily or involuntarily in such circumstances should include:
This topic review has been prepared with contributions from David Salter, Mike Broadbent, Mike Shone, Mustafa Iqbal Azam and Peter Kelly.
Labour Based Road works
Road Surface Options
Low Cost Structures
Landslide & Slope Stabilisation
Social, Organisational & Logistical References
Updated March 2010