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Alaska Highway Infrastructure Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Due to Changing Climate and Extreme Weather Events


This paper describes the methodology used to conduct the Study on the Infrastructure Vulnerability and Risk due to a Changing Climate and Extreme Weather Events along the Alaska Highway. The Study was carried out using the methodology documented under the Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Framework (FHWA, 2017). The Framework provides a structured process for conducting a vulnerability assessment for the infrastructure assets. The Study assessed the impacts of climate change on drainage and geotechnical assets. It provided a specific analysis of projected changes in temperature and precipitation-related parameters as predicted by climate change models to establish a probable range of future climate conditions to which these assets may be subjected. A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) was carried out to identify and select the most cost-effective adaptation alternatives. This economic analysis monetized the costs and benefits associated with multiple adaptation strategies over a 60-year analysis period. The costs considered in the LCCA include both “direct costs,” the cost directly incurred by the asset owners, and “user costs,” costs that users of the road would incur through delays and detours. A total of 410 culverts, 74 geotechnical assets and 24 bridges along the highway were identified for consideration in this Study. The methodology is intrinsically compatible for integration into Transportation Asset Management Plans and cross-asset optimization.

Keywords: Transportation Asset Management, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Vulnerability, Risk Based Asset Management, Sustainability and Resilience, Transportation Systems Resilience, Risk and Resilience Management, Natural Hazards and Extreme Weather Events, Climate Change, Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment, Critical and Lifeline Infrastructure, Hazard Mitigation, Vulnerability and Threat Assessment

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
PIARC and Canadian Challenges in Developing Road System Resilience
St. Michel, Gary
Waseem, Afzal
Frame, Paul A.
Miguez, Travis
Fung, Gordon
Moschini, David
Climate change, Environmental issues