U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content
Facebook iconYouTube iconTwitter iconFlickr iconLinkedInInstagram

Office of International Programs

FHWA Home / Office of International Programs

Appendix A Amplifying Questions

Topic 1 Planning approaches, standards, manpower roles and responsibilities, and communication techniques to deter, detect, defend, respond to, and recover from both natural and manmade disasters and other incidents

  1. Does your country have a national standard for tunnel design?
  2. What variation in types of tunnels exists with respect to crosssectional dimensions, presence of lining, type of lining, and level of mechanical systems such as ventilation, fire suppression, and tunnel monitoring systems?
  3. How does adjacent infrastructure, land use, or topography influence planning and design?
  4. What guidance and standards are provided to planners and designers to address vulnerabilities to natural and manmade disasters for new and retrofitted tunnels? Is blast design included?
  5. Are you moving toward performance-based design rather than the prescriptive approach and, if so, how are you addressing issues such as life safety, acceptable risk, and fire size?
  6. Are risk assessments addressed programmatically for highway and rail/subway tunnels and, if so, how are the programs developed and funded? Do you use an all-hazards approach, and how do you handle specific risks that cannot be mitigated?
  7. What traffic management and safety innovations are deployed or planned to minimize or eliminate problems such as congestion at highway tunnel toll collection locations?
  8. What are your protocols for tunnel operation center management? Our interest includes the role of law enforcement and laws or regulations that promote effective response and recovery. Also of interest are human factors that influence your procedures.
  9. How are communication procedures, equipment, and jurisdictional issues integrated among law enforcement, emergency responders, and operation control center personnel? Which agency has the role of incident commander?
  10. Are there laws or regulations in place or under consideration for motorist identification, cargo tracking and control, criminal investigation, or other purposes aimed to deter terrorist actions?
  11. Do you actively screen or otherwise monitor truck cargoes entering your tunnels and, if so, how do you screen them without disrupting the flow of traffic? What dangerous cargo is acceptable, and how is this enforced?
  12. What protocols do you use to vary responses to hazards depending on different types of indicators (e.g., weather alerts or changes to threat levels)?
  13. What best practices can you share in the areas of prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from manmade and natural disasters?
  14. How are staffing and equipment needs established for normal work and for emergency work?
  15. What processes and standards are employed to conduct background checks on employees and vendors and ensure confidentiality of information pertaining to assets?
  16. What types of exercises and other training are provided to staff and first responders to ensure proficiency in response to an incident, and how is this training evaluated?
  17. What notification are motorists given as they approach a tunnel, and what safety training are they given on driving through a tunnel?
  18. How does your agency interact with the media?

Topic 2 Available state-of-the-art products and equipment used to deter, detect, defend, respond to, and recover from tunnel incidents

  1. What communication systems are used (e.g., to communicate with rescue personnel inside a tunnel)?
  2. Are you using human behavior recognition technology in conjunction with video surveillance and intrusion detection technology and, if so, where and how are you using it?
  3. Have you developed recovery strategies for possible tunnel wall breach (as from an explosive), particularly for those tunnels subject to flooding? Have you considered any measures to mitigate such a breach or lessen its impact?
  4. What innovations are you using for emergency egress and for effectiveness to deter, detect, defend, deny, respond to, and recover from terrorist actions or other incidents (e.g., robotic or other automated technologies, lighting, cameras, sensors, structural configuration, ventilation control, communication technology, weapons-of-mass-destruction (WMD) detection technology, and fire suppression technology for both new and retrofitted tunnels)?
  5. What vehicle identification technologies and cargo tracking technologies are used in your facilities?
  6. What equipment and materials are pre-positioned for response and recovery to an incident (e.g., for quick removal of a disabled vehicle), and what is considered acceptable response time?
  7. What technology is used to control access to or create buffer zones for critical details and areas?
  8. How are access control and surveillance handled under normal operations? Are your tunnels monitored around the clock and, if not, what equipment and methods do you use to secure the facilities during off-hours?
  9. What types of sensors are in use and for what types of hazards? Has an evaluation of sensor effectiveness been done (e.g., sacrificial heat sensors in new construction, water intrusion/level sensors, fire sensors, explosion sensors, WMD sensors)?
  10. What types of technology are in place to ensure proper command and control and interoperability of equipment for first responders?
  11. How do you detect over-height vehicles before they enter tunnels, and do you use cameras to automatically fine vehicles that have damaged your facilities?
  12. What new materials are being used to protect your tunnels (e.g., concrete with plastic fibers), and how have these new materials performed?
  13. What has been the performance of refuge rooms?
  14. What technology is used to detect tunnel fires (e.g., linear heat detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, traffic camera feeds, fire alarm call boxes, or some combination of these devices)?
  15. How are jet fans protected from fire and other attacks?
  16. Have you identified gaps in research for tunnel safety, security, or other areas? Can you suggest strategies for cooperative efforts in research to solve common problems and promote safety?

Topic 3 Specialized technologies and standards used in monitoring or inspecting structural elements and operating equipment to ensure optimal performance and to minimize downtime during their maintenance or rehabilitation

  1. Do you have a maintenance management system to manage all of the electrical/mechanical systems required to operate your tunnels? If so, is it capable of assigning preventive maintenance tasks to your maintenance forces, and does it track actual performance against the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule?
  2. What inspection and rating programs do you have in place to detect potential performance issues and to help plan maintenance and preservation activities?
  3. What are your protocols for periodic inspections for security and other hazards (e.g., how often and by whom are your mechanical systems inspected)?
  4. How quickly are you able to detect and clear routine traffic crashes inside your tunnels? Do you have emergency response platforms or stations strategically located along the alignment? If so, are the tow truck operators your own employees, or do you contract out for these services?
  5. What equipment is provided in each tunnel for inspection, maintenance, and emergency response? How is this equipment maintained and tested?
  6. How often are tunnels inspected for structural condition, who does the inspection, and what equipment is used (e.g., lift bucket for access to the ceiling)?
  7. What methods are used to inspect the structural integrity of the concrete and the steel, both routinely and after a fire, and what materials are used to repair concrete after a fire?
  8. What innovations do you use to prolong service life and reduce operational costs, particularly those that may provide multiple benefits related to safety and security?
  9. If you had your wish to start a new tunnel project, what key elements would you incorporate in its design and construction to aid you in maintenance and operation of the tunnel as well as traffic and incident management?
  10. What is your business plan for the upgrade or replacement of the equipment and information technology devices, and what do you use to schedule and track their maintenance?
  11. How is maintenance or rehabilitation work performed (e.g., under full closure, under partial closure, during specific times of the year)?
  12. What details are used to prevent water leakage through the lining, and what remedial measures are taken if there is leakage? How do you handle the effects of corrosion caused by such leaks?
  13. Are the lighting and emergency communication systems designed to survive major fires and blasts? If not, what types of mitigations are planned to ensure safe evacuation during an incident that involves major fires or explosions?
  14. What are the operational protocols for the use of the ventilation system during a WMD event?
<< PreviousContentsNext >>
Page last modified on November 7, 2014
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000