Enhancing Resilience of Critical Road Infrastructure: Bridges, Culverts and Flood-Ways Under Natural Hazards

Sujeeva Setunge, Chun Qing Li, Darryn McEvoy, Kevin Zhang, Jane Mullett, Hessam Mohseni, Priyan Mendis, Tuan Ngo, Lihai Zhang, Nilupa Herath, Karu Karunasena, Weena Lokuge, Buddhi Wahalathantri, Dilanthi Amaratunga

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During stage 1 of the project, disaster risk was understood in terms of the vulnerability of road structures, and the impacts of road failure on local communities. Stage 2 aims to enhance disaster preparedness, inform more effective responses, and ensuring that damaged structures are built back better during the recovery. In Stage 2 of this project, research will continue to apply the methods developed in Stage 1 to examine the vulnerability of categories of road structures for decision making. In addition to the assessment of structural vulnerability, a decision support framework will be developed through collaboration with other research projects of the BNH CRC such as decision making and fire modeling.
The overarching aim of the proposed second stage of the project is to work closely with key stakeholders to implement the methodologies that have been developed for vulnerability modelling of road structures to priorities vulnerable structures for improvements, to quantify the cost of reconstruction and/or cost of hardening of structures, and to integrate community resilience considerations into the decision making process. During the first year of Stage 2, several research objectives have been achieved, including hazard mapping for Victoria and Queensland, categorization of road structures, and floodway design process. The related methodologies are introduced below one by one.
The major research activities include numerical modeling of concrete bridges under hazards of flood, earthquake, and bushfire, with the fast and rapid simulation based on CSi bridge software and the development of a coupled computational fluid dynamics model with discrete element model. A reliability-based assessment framework was developed to quantify the damage accumulation of the bridges caused by multiple earthquakes and progressive deterioration throughout their
service life. Furthermore, the hazard maps of bridges under bushfire and flood were developed with the identification of the bridges under the risks.
Four workshops and four meetings were held during the first year of Stage 2 of the project. Two workshops were held at RMIT University to discuss with end users and colleagues regarding the feedbacks and comments of the project progresses. Two workshops were held at the University of Southern Queensland The University of Melbourne, respectively. Feedbacks from the end users in Queensland state and colleagues at the University of Melbourne have largely benefited the research progress.
Six Ph.D. candidates work with the research team at RMIT, where three researchers were recruited at USQ and RMIT to working on the project. One Ph.D. candidate was graduated at RMIT based on this project during the last year. There were also 3 field trips to city councils regarding the interview survey, including the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. We have attended 6 conferences to present our research.
Regarding the research outputs, we have published four international journal papers, including three Scimago Q1 journal papers, where 10 journal papers are under review. Four conference papers were presented at the national and international conference, where 11 conference papers were accepted for publication in the proceedings.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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