A joint Pierce-King county study aimed at preventing Tacoma-SEATTLE, Wash. transportation corridor earthquake damage has been selected for national and state awards.
The Pierce-King County Project Impact's Port to Port transportation project will receive the 2000 National Award in Excellence for Response Plans and Materials from the Western States Seismic Policy Council during the National Earthquake Rick Management Conference Sept. 18-22 at SeaTac.
The Washington City Council Management Association presented the project its Excellence in Innovation award at its annual conference Aug. 17 at Port Ludlow.
The Port to Port Transportation Corridor Seismic Vulnerability Project aims to determine economic consequences of transportation system failures between the ports of Tacoma and SEATTLE, Wash. following a major earthquake. The study reviews the economic and transportation effects of six potential earthquake scenarios on I-5, Washington 167, Washington 99 and major rail lines. The project is the first to anticipate and potentially mitigate earthquake damage within the transportation corridor.
Pierce and King counties, which were designated to receive $300,000 each from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, pooled their monies under the administration of Pierce County and initiated projects with regional impact. FEMA's Project Impact encourages forming nontraditional public/private partnerships by finding mutual interests in disaster mitigation.
Business and industrial partners recognize the corridor's economic importance and contribute staff, funding or other resources in support of the project.
Port to Port incorporates updated earthquake fault data from the United States Geological Service, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington State Department of Transportation. The data is used to determine the vulnerability of bridges and elevated roadway structures. Estimated costs and time to restore transportation routes will be developed by WSDOT and EQE International, an earthquake-oriented risk management and engineering firm hired to conduct the study.
In the last step, a University of Washington economist will use the outage information to interview major manufacturers, businesses, utilities and others regarding the economic consequences of a major earthquake. With this data, traffic engineers, emergency managers, business owners and operators will be able to weigh the cost of system failure against the cost of retrofitting the corridor to a higher seismic resistance level.
FEMA aims through Project Impact to create disaster-resistant communities by stimulating action prior to a potential disaster to reduce impacts and costs of an actual disaster.