Decision-Tree Based Approach to Making Post-Flooding Road Opening and Closure Decisions for Transportation Agencies

This paper discusses the development of a decision-tree based approach to making post-flooding road opening and closure decisions for transportation agencies. The proposed approach is intended to address expected consequences (focused on losses) of potential road opening and closure decisions, as well as the need and value of additional information in the form of a site-specific analysis or in-place (nondestructive) testing. The application of the decision tree after a flooding event addresses the following questions: Should testing be conducted in addition to visual inspection? Should the road be closed or opened to traffic once flooding waters have receded? Results of a survey of forty highway agencies on past flooding events were utilized. An example decision tree is presented giving: a measure of flood intensity, location, pavement cross-section characteristics, and roadway functional classification. This example demonstrates that, given a set of conditions, the payoff from the optimal decision is affected significantly by losses from opening the road to traffic when the pavement is not sound, which is a direct result of an erroneous conclusion regarding pavement integrity. In addition, in-place testing is warranted under certain conditions to reduce the uncertainty that may be present in the visual inspection results. Ultimately, the proposed decision tree explicitly accounts for the value of testing and can be used to facilitate decision-making based on the relative numerical value of risk associated with different actions. A brief discussion on the challenges associated with the development of utility functions for risk-averse agencies is also incorporated.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFD00 Section - Pavement Management.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Medina, Ricardo A
    • Mallick, Rajib B
    • Kirshen, Paul
    • McCarthy, Leslie Myers
    • Daniel, Jo Sias
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 95th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01592516
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 16-5828
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 12 2016 6:34PM