T3 Webinar Overview

Managing Traffic During Flood Events: Transportation Agency Experiences and Strategies

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Date:   Thursday, March 6, 2014
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building Program (PCB) of the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO). References in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. DOT.


The Road Weather Management Program (RWMP), within the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Operations, seeks to better understand the impacts of weather on roadways, and to promote strategies and tools to mitigate those impacts. Envisioned is a system that provides “Anytime, Anywhere Road Weather Information” for road users and road operating agencies, as well as a robust, competitive market for road weather services. One of the key goals of the program is to improve traffic management during adverse weather events.

To support this goal, the RWMP has an initiative called Weather Responsive Traffic Management (WRTM). The initiative involves working with State DOTs and other partners to develop and implement traffic management strategies in response to current or anticipated weather conditions. WRTM includes improving traffic analysis, modeling, and prediction of traffic flow under all types of weather conditions; integrating high-quality, timely, and relevant weather information with existing traffic information into the transportation management centers; developing guidelines for road weather information communication and presentation that meet the needs of the traveling public for different weather conditions and travel scenarios; and creating evaluation guidance for transportation agencies to assess that the benefits outweigh the costs for implementing a particular strategy.

Recent stakeholder discussions have highlighted a greater need to focus on traffic management before, during, and after flood events and to strengthen the inclusion of hydrology in planning, operations, and maintenance. Transportation agencies throughout the country deal with flood events caused by heavy rains or prolonged periods of precipitation, which have significant impacts on transportation systems. As one stakeholder remarked, “water is what takes out our roadways, bridges, and communications.” Flooding can result in both short-term and long-term impacts to operations with problems continuing spatially and temporally beyond the local area of the precipitation event.

This webinar will present experiences from two State DOTs in managing the effects of flooding on roadway systems. Their presentations will address this challenge from three perspectives: transportation management, bridge management, and maintenance.

Learning Objectives

Target Audience

The target audience for this webinar includes State and city DOT staff who are involved in traffic management, operations, and maintenance of the transportation system, and others interested in these topics.


Roemer Alfelor, Weather Responsive Traffic Management Program, Office of Operations, Federal Highway Administration

photograph of Roemer Alfelor

Roemer Alfelor, PhD, has been with FHWA for 14 years. He is the manager of the Office of Operations' WRTM program, a role he has served in for almost a decade. Prior to that, he managed the FHWA Office of Asset Management's Data Integration Program. Before joining FHWA, he worked as a private sector consultant, providing technical support for various transportation agencies and conducting national research on transportation planning, engineering, infrastructure management, and information systems.

Deepak Gopalakrishna, Program Manager, Battelle

photograph of Deepak Gopalakrishna

Deepak Gopalakrishna is a Program Manager with Battelle's Critical Infrastructure Transportation Operations business unit. He has over 12 years of experience in transportation systems management and operations – leading projects in road weather management, congestion mitigation, institutional capability maturity, and active transportation and demand management. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography at George Washington University.


Gene S. Donaldson, Transportation Management Center Operations Manager, Delaware Department of Transportation

photograph of Gene Donaldson

Gene Donaldson manages Delaware Department of Transportation's (DelDOT) transportation management program, which includes the 24-hour statewide Transportation Management Center, Information Technology Service Management (the State's ITS program), incident and event management planning and operations, and transportation homeland security planning and operations. Prior to DelDOT, he worked for 27 years in Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Public Works and Transportation as Chief of the Transportation Management Section. He is a past president of the Washington DC section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and a past president of ITE District 2.

Dave Claman, Preliminary Bridge Engineer, Office of Bridges & Structures, Iowa Department of Transportation

photograph of Dave Claman

Dave Claman, P.E., M. ASCE, is the Transportation Manager for the Preliminary Bridge Section at the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and has 30 years of experience in the hydrology and hydraulics engineering field. His primary responsibility is to ensure the State's highway structures are appropriately sized and designed in accordance with Iowa DOT guidelines and policies. He is Iowa DOT's expert in drainage disputes, bridge scour, stream geomorphology, 2-D hydraulic analysis, and FEMA/floodplain management issues. Prior to working for the Iowa DOT, Dave worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources where he was responsible for the administration and enforcement of the State's floodplain management program. He is a 1983 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

James Bane, District 4 Maintenance Manager, Iowa Department of Transportation

photograph of Jim Bane

Jim Bane, P.E. is the Iowa DOT District 4 Maintenance Manager. He has 35 years of experience in the Iowa DOT and has served as the district maintenance manager for 15 years. He is responsible for highway maintenance in 17 counties in southwest Iowa and has many years of firsthand experience with highway maintenance, snow removal, traffic management, and flood response ranging from short duration flash floods to the prolonged flooding of the Missouri River in 2011.