Multi-Criteria Decision-making Approach for Building Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure

Project ID: CTEDD 018-11

Author(s): Anand J. Puppala, University of Texas at Arlington

Co-Author(s): Shima Hamidi, University of Texas at Arlington & Tejo V. Bheemasetti, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

CTEDD Funding Year: 2018 General RFP

Project Status: Complete

UTC Funding: $95,000

End Date: October 31, 2019


This project will develop and validate a multi-criteria decision-making approach for enhancing the longevity of transportation infrastructure built on problematic test site conditions that includes poor subsoil conditions.

In the United States, the annual cost of damage to constructed facilities built on problematic subsoil conditions was approximately $13 billion, and a significant portion of this amount can be attributed to damages sustained by pavement infrastructure. With continuing pressure on transportation agencies across the nation, several techniques including replacing the existing material and treating the problematic soils were implemented. Despite the efforts, one of the key uncertainty is lack of a rational multi-criteria approach that evaluates available alternatives and provides a reliable solution that increases the resiliency of the transportation infrastructure.

This project will develop a multi-criteria decision-making approach by accounting both resilient and sustainability factors in building resilient transportation infrastructure on problematic test site conditions with poor subgrade soils. The developed approach accounts for different variables including treatment techniques, type of stabilizer, curing period, life cycle cost analyses including user costs and agency costs, environmental effects, and performance monitoring data.

The developed multi-criteria approach will be illustrated and validated on two different test sites including stabilized pavement infrastructure and at a bridge infrastructure. The proposed research is of significant importance to Federal and State Highway Agencies as well as the construction industry at large. Any reductions in maintenance costs will be considered as huge savings to transportation agencies and these savings could be invested in other transportation needs.