The Cost of Temporary Traffic Flow Interruptions for Transport in Arctic Areas

Lead Author Kjersti Granås, Bardal
Institution Contact Business School, Nord University Universitetsalleen 11 8026 Bodø Norway Phone: +47 41 32 21 14
Co-Authors Terje Mathisen, Nord University, Norway
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.3 Current infrastructural Challenges, extreme weather and natural hazards and the effects on northern communities
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Harsh weather frequently causes temporary transport flow interruptions in Arctic areas. The context of this study is the road transport system in the northern parts of Norway, a rural region located north of the Arctic Circle. The combination of rough weather and a mountainous topography challenge the road transport system. Some road stretches are exposed to avalanches triggered by heavy precipitation that blocks and ruins the roads, while other road stretches are preventively closed in stormy weather. In addition, the roads are frequently closed because of accidents, particularly during winter when the weather and driver conditions are unfavourable. People and business located in this area are affected by these interruptions in various ways. This paper is concerned with the delays and the corresponding increase in transport costs the interruptions cause. Studies have shown that the time costs usually constitutes the major cost component (approximately 70%) of the socioeconomic costs of road closures. Since the access to alternative transport modes and routes are often limited in rural regions, the costs of detours can be extensive.
Cost-benefit analysis is a well recognized assessment tool for evaluating transport projects. However, the existing framework for calculating the magnitude of the socioeconomic costs of weather related road closures is limited. The benefits of reducing these costs are therefore poorly disclosed in the analyses. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, the existing literature on calculating the risk and costs of road closures due to avalanches will be compiled and modified in order to develop a framework, which may be used on all kinds of weather related road closures. Second, the developed framework will be applied on three different cases – one road stretch exposed to avalanches, one mountain pass with frequent preventive road closures, and one road stretch with frequent accidents.
 Download to your calendar