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Research Project

Disruption Management Template Development

This project will produce transportation management templates for use in the event of a major transportation system disruption, which can result from vehicle crashes, hazardous material spills, terrorist attacks, or other similar events. The template will incorporate ways to: 1) Maintain traffic flows. 2) Minimize secondary incidents. 3) Reduce system congestion.

Principal Investigator
DiJohn, Joseph
Research Area(s)
Data Development
Funding Source
Illinois Department of Transportation, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning


Terrorist threats and long-term incidents, such as floods, hazardous material spills, and major traffic incidents can impose significant disruptions on the traffic flows in large metropolitan areas such as Chicago. There is a need to understand how traffic will be impacted in a large metro area in such an event for two reasons: to manage this traffic so that it does not impede with emergency operations, and to develop effective evacuation plans for populations under threat and move passing-by drivers out of harm’s way. Such models require capturing the fast-evolving dynamic conditions, taking into consideration street closures and infrastructure failures. In addition, a catastrophe is an extraordinary event and the drivers confronted with it are not expected to behave in the commonly accepted User Equilibrium and System Optimum behavior, which makes existing models not directly applicable. Finally, the impact of a major catastrophe or threat will impact very large parts of the network, which requires models that can function on large-scale regional networks on reasonable computational time. A report or paper from this research is not immediately available.