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Resilience Planning

Efforts to protect the transportation system from the impacts of extreme weather and other natural hazards include identifying where the network is most vulnerable and then implementing strategies to mitigate future damage and lessen the severity and impact of service disruptions. The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Vermont, and transportation resilience is vital to achieving our Agency’s mission to provide for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable manner in the face of these impacts.   

Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program and the VTrans Resilience Improvement Plan (RIP) 

The Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) program was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), enacted as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The purpose of the program is to help make surface transportation more resilient to natural hazards. Vermont will receive $37 million in formula funding over five years through PROTECT for resilience projects and planning. The PROTECT program also includes discretionary grants that are open to states, municipalities, MPOs/RPCs, and others.    

The program incentivizes states to develop a Resilience Improvement Plan (RIP) to address surface transportation system resilience to current and future weather events and natural disasters. A central component of the RIP is a prioritized list of resilience projects. Once a RIP is approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), those projects become eligible for a greater share of federal funding and PROTECT grant applications for them no longer need to include a benefit cost analysis. The VTrans RIP was approved in 2023 and is available below along with its supporting documents. 

FEMA Projects 

The PROTECT program is not the only source of funding available to advance resilience projects and address the vulnerabilities of the transportation system. The Agency actively pursues opportunities for funding through the various FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs and has several FEMA-funded projects ongoing at any given time. These projects often include close collaboration with local stakeholders and other state agencies. Current projects include: 

  • VT Route 9 Whetstone Brook Flood Mitigation Project (PDM)

  • Soil Stabilization for Route 108 Notch Road in Stowe (HMGP)

  • Railroad Trestle #308 Project Scoping in Barre City (BRIC) 

  • Mill Brook-Rt 117 Stabilization and Floodplain Restoration (HMGP – Pre-Award) 

Transportation Resilience Planning Tool (TRPT) 

The TRPT is a statewide tool that calculates the criticality of the roadway network and its vulnerability to river processes. The TRPT is fundamental to much of the Agency’s resilience planning, including the Resilience Improvement Plan. The TRPT can be found here

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