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Publication No. FHWA-HOP-06-090

Final Report

Integration of Emergency and Weather Elements into Transportation Management Centers

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February 2006

U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration

Quality Assurance Statement

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Contract Number DTFH61-01-C-00182.  The Federal Highway Administration provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding.  Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information.  FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Highway Administration.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Integration of Emergency and Weather Elements into Transportation Management Centers

5. Report Date:

February 28, 2006

6.  Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Chris Cluett, Fred Kitchener, Dwight Shank, Leon Osborne,
Steve Conger

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

1100 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 400
Seattle, WA  98109-3598

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Federal Highway Administration, HOTO

400 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC  20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final, March 2004 – July 2005

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes:  Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) –

Paul Pisano, FHWA - HOTO

16. Abstract

Integration as applied to transportation management and operations is a concept that reflects how Transportation Management Center (TMC) operators, agencies internal to the TMC, external agencies and support systems interact to improve transportation operations, safety, security and customer satisfaction.  Integration is a catalyst and a tool for enhancing operational performance and is one of a variety of strategies available to, and used by, TMCs.  This study is part of an ongoing Federal Highway Administration research effort that seeks to document transportation operations across the country and identify strategies that can enhance the operational effectiveness of transportation management systems in general and TMCs in particular.  The TMC Integration study documents how weather and emergency information and systems are being integrated into transportation operations now and the potential for applying practical, effective concepts and methods of integration in the future.  The study investigated the needs and opportunities for TMC integration of emergency and weather information and systems, and further explored the concepts, methods and potential for integration to benefit operations.  Thirty-eight TMCs across the country that demonstrated current best practices in integration were interviewed and ten of those selected for site visits.  A concept of integration and measures of integration attainment were developed and described.  The state of the practice was reviewed, and challenges to integration identified along with strategies for addressing those challenges.  Benefits of integration were presented, best practices described, and recommendations offered for how weather and emergency integration in TMCs could be initiated or enhanced.  The practice of weather and emergency integration in TMCs is in its infancy, but the examples of best practices in selected TMCs across the country offer examples of the long-term value of an integrated approach to transportation operations that other TMCs can emulate.  It is hoped that the lessons learned in this study can help inspire and guide widespread efforts to achieve the benefits of integration in more TMCs in the future.

17. Key Words

Transportation Management Center (TMC); Transportation Operations Center (TOC); integration; operations; emergency; weather; road-weather

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions.  This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA  22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7            (8-72)             Reproduction of completed page authorized


SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors


Executive Summary

1. Introduction

1.1 Project Background

1.2 Integration Framework

1.2.1. Purpose of Integration

1.2.2. Dimensions of Integration

1.3 Study Approach

1.4 Report Contents

2. Integration For Emergencies

2.1 Overview

2.2 State of the Practice

2.2.1. Concepts and Methods

2.2.2. Current Practices

2.2.3. Challenges

2.3 Additional Concepts for Emergency Integration

2.3.1. Additional Application of Current Integration Concept

2.3.2. Currently Available Practitioner Improvement Operational Coordination and Training Optimized Emergency Information Integration

2.3.3. Research and Development Needs. Advanced Tools Federal Resources for Rapid Deployment

2.4 Recommendations

2.4.1. Enhancements to Current Practice

2.4.2. Supporting Research

2.4.3. Federal Roles

3. Integration For Weather

3.1 Overview

3.2 State-of-the-practice

3.2.1. Operational Strategies In Use at TMCs

3.2.2. Observed Best Practices

3.2.3. Concepts and Methods

3.2.4. How to Use the Concepts and Methods

3.2.5. Potential Benefits

3.2.6. Potential Challenges

3.3 Recommendations

3.3.1. Enhancements to Current Practices

3.3.2. Future Supporting Research

4. Conclusions

APPENDIX A: Baseline Conditions Report



List of Figures

Figure 1.  Conceptual Framework: Integration Determinants and Outcomes

Figure 2.  Component Effects of Integration Dimensions on TMC Functions

Figure 3.  Representative Comprehensive Network.

Figure 4.  ICS Organizational Chart.

Figure 5.  Optimization Process.

Figure 6.  Systems Engineering “V” Diagram.

Figure 7.  Precipitation Causing Traffic Congestion and Delay

Figure 8.  South Carolina Contraflow Operations and Congestion Associated with
Evacuation Ahead of Hurricane Floyd

Figure 9.  Recommended TMC Self-Assessment Process

Figure 10.  Weather Information Integration Guidelines Sample Matrix

List of Tables

Table 1.  Emergency Integration Measurement Scale: Dimensions and Levels.

Table 2.  Observed Best Practices for Emergency Integration.

Table 3.  Local/Regional Relevance of Integration Best Practices.

Table 4.  Cost Estimates for Integration Concepts.

Table 5.  Emergency Integration Concepts and Methods: Current Concept Extension.

Table 6.  Emergency Integration Concepts and Methods: Available Concepts.

Table 7.  Emergency Integration Concepts and Methods: Future Research.

Table 8.  Weather Information Integration Best Practices and Observed Implementations

Table 9.  Weather Integration Concepts and Methods

Table 10.  Weather Information Integration Measurement Scale: Dimensions and Levels

Table 11.  Sample Matrix to Categorize Weather Situations and Resulting Impacts

Table of Contents  |  Executive Summary

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