What is it about?

Extreme weather events such as floods can cause damage to road infrastructure, disrupting the traffic. Our study has created a new way of looking at the impact of natural disasters on transport networks. We looked at the flood in the Ahr valley in 2021 and found that destroyed roads caused major traffic problems, even far from the flood. This damage also slowed the response of emergency services.

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Why is it important?

Our results indicate that it can make a big difference to traffic flow which roads are prioritised to be reconstructed after a flood. Furthermore, our research provides new insights to help make transport networks more resilient to future extreme weather events, reducing costs and helping society.


The writing of this manuscript has highlighted the importance of proactive infrastructure planning to ensure resilience to extreme weather events. It also made me aware that, especially after extensive road damage, alternatives to car use are even more important to relieve traffic congestion and ensure emergency access.

Jonas Wassmer
Universitat Potsdam

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Resilience of transportation infrastructure networks to road failures, Chaos An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, January 2024, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0165839.
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