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Mid-America Transportation Center

Resilience of Rural Communities and Transportation Networks to Hazards


University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Principal Investigator
Christine Wittich
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided
USDOT: $30,847
UNL: $31,135
Total Project Cost
$ 61,982
Agency ID or Contract Number
Start Date
End Date
Research Objective
The long-term goal of this research is to reduce the negative consequences of vehicular crashes and other hazards to the rural transportation network by increasing the resilience of individual components, such as bridges and roadways. The primary objective of this project is to quantify the functionality restoration of bridges and roadways in rural areas in the aftermath of non-natural and other hazards, such that the resilience of rural transportation networks can be studied and ultimately enhanced.
Potential Benefits
This project will study the resilience of rural transportation systems by evaluating bridges' and roadways' abilities to recover after a vehicular crash or other hazard. This knowledge is necessary to accurately quantify the resilience of rural areas in the United States, such that appropriate interventions can be taken to increase resilience in the face of future hazards.
Brief Description of Research Project
Despite the importance of rural areas to the US transportation system and to the nation's economy, rural transportation has several unique challenges that render it less resilient to future events than urban areas. A resilient transportation system should initially withstand a hazard with minimal damage and subsequently recover quickly. This project focuses specifically on the latter: the ability of bridges and roadways to recover after a vehicular crash or other hazard.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation
Web Links
Modal Orientation
  • Bridges
  • Highways