Vulnerability assessment of Alberta's provincial highway network

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Within their emergency planning and management roles, it is critical for transportation authorities to understand the characteristics of the transportation network and the communities it serves. The northeastern section of the province of Alberta, Canada has a very limited roadway network and is remote from major population centers, yet also has a relatively large population concentration due to the oil and gas industry. It is also prone to wildfires, with subsequent community evacuations every year in the summer months. This paper is a case study of the application of several network analysis measures (related to network topology, community accessibility, and transportation facility characteristics) to this wildfire-prone region, to better understand the region's vulnerability in the face of emergency evacuation and facility disruption. Our results show communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are highly vulnerable to facility disruptions while accessibility to major centers during evacuation is relatively low. Our results also determine critical communities with respect to network vulnerability, and locations for interim emergency supplies.
    Despite the concentrated populations supporting oil and gas extraction, historical indigenous communities, and the growing prevalence of wildfires and evacuations, justification of transportation infrastructure investments is difficult in this remote area. The findings demonstrate the need for provincial and federal emergency management plans that incorporate the use of existing intermodal infrastructures (i.e. aerodromes) as an alternate means of transport
    connecting impacted communities. The findings also provide guidance for traffic management planning, strategic placement of emergency services, and identifying where infrastructure investments are most critical.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Kasturi Mahajan, Amy M. Kim (2020). Vulnerability Assessment and Capacity Scan of Alberta’s Provincial Highway Network. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Vol. 6, 100171.