The federal FAST Act expanded the scope of MPO planning to include system resiliency of transportation systems including considering the vulnerability of existing transportation infrastructure to natural disasters and the mitigation of stormwater impacts on transportation. In response, SPC planners have been involved in several resiliency-related activities pertaining to transportation infrastructure:
- Continued participation in PennDOT’s Statewide Extreme Weather Vulnerability Study. SPC planners have been active in studying stressors of interest to Southwestern Pennsylvania such as flooding and landslides.
- SPC conducted research and pilot studies regarding the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to flooding. A pilot study focusing on one watershed in Fayette County included the use of numerous models and tools developed by SPC, FEMA, and FHWA to assess vulnerability of existing transportation infrastructure.
As directed by Mapping the Future: The Southwestern PA Plan, SPC continues to implement sustainable practices and policies throughout the programs in which it operates. In 2016, SPC advanced numerous efforts in support of sustainability, including:
- Facilitated several stormwater management workshops and provided technical assistance to local governments through SPC’s Water Resource Center.
- Participated in programs sponsored by Sustainable Pittsburgh, Green Building Alliance and others working to advance sustainability and resiliency in the region.
- Continued early environmental screening of potential transportation system investments during the project evaluation, selection and development processes through Linking Planning and NEPA (LPN) assessments.