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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

The Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2

Detailed Methodology and Results by Mode

Measuring Criticality

The project team developed a series of matrices to identify and define the level of importance of the criteria for each mode. Using a combination of data analysis and discussion with stakeholders in Mobile, the matrices identified specific criteria against which each transportation asset was evaluated. Criteria used for the three assessment categories included:

These criteria served as the basis for measuring criticality; however, criteria were modified, added, or deleted to reflect available data or updated assumptions. As an example, a link's ability to move hazardous materials was originally identified as an assessment criterion. During agency coordination, it was noted that there were no restrictions placed on area roadways for hazardous materials transport, except for the two tunnels in the area. This criterion was subsequently removed from the assessment. Similar changes were made if data were not available.

The assessment of each mode was completed to determine the relative value of links and nodes of the system according to the criteria outlined above as compared to other links and nodes in the same system. As noted, however, in instances where data was limited, professional judgment was applied to determine relative value of various assets as compared with others.

The assessment conducted for each mode was specific to that mode, and an assessment of criticality was made within each modal category. An assessment of criticality across modes was deemed too subjective given available data and the lack of a specific framework for comparison. The framework for assessing criticality within each mode was designed with transferability to other regions of the country in mind. Therefore, this report does not address, for example, whether critical port facilities are more or less important than critical highway segments within the study area. As the project progresses and interactions on asset vulnerability are advanced to a more detailed level, further discussions of the relative importance of particular assets will be more appropriate.

The following sections present the results of criticality assessments of Mobile's transportation infrastructure by mode. They have been identified on project maps, which depict the types of segments and nodes of infrastructure that will be carried forward into more detailed engineering analysis. Within each mode, components (as well as sub-components, when appropriate) are listed by facility or owning carrier. Each criterion was applied according to the type of asset. The overall criticality of each facility or component was assessed against various criteria organized into three assessment categories (socioeconomic, operational, and health and safety). Some of these evaluations were simple "yes or no" assessments; others were ranked as low, medium, or high in terms of value.



The roadway network includes roadways of varying classifications, providing access to economic centers, residences, religious facilities, schools, community centers, and other uses. For the analysis of the highway mode, the study team concentrated the analysis only on roadway classifications contained in the regional long-range plan, thus eliminating local roads from the analysis. This decision reflects an understood hierarchy that local roads rarely serve a function high enough to be considered critical and also enabled integration of classification and volume data contained in the SARPC regional model into the assessment. The target network comprises a system of Interstates (10, 165 and 65), U.S. Highways (43, 45, 98, and 90), State Highways (16, 42, 17, 158, 163, 188, 193, 213, and 217), and a series of arterials and collectors. As is typical of most urban areas, the highway system carries a diverse mix of users.

The primary roadway network, which was examined for this study, is fairly expansive, made up of over 644 miles (1,847 lane-miles)[5] and approximately 630 bridges[6], with the network being defined by Interstates and U.S. Highways connecting the Mobile area to northern Alabama, the Florida panhandle to the east, and Mississippi and Louisiana to the west. Arterials radiate west from the downtown area to create connections to and among population and employment centers in the study area. Secondary and collector roads provide for localized travel providing access to specific subdivisions or retail/employment centers. This diverse mix makes up the most extensive transportation network in the study area. Because of the large size and numerous connections provided by the roadway network in the Mobile area, conducting a detailed engineering assessment of every potentially critical roadway segment was not feasible; however, during the next steps of this study, these critical roadway segments will be screened according to their vulnerability to climate impacts. The results of this screening will identify a subset of critical roadway segments that will undergo a more detailed engineering assessment in later stages of this project.


Three assessment categories (comprising 10 individual criteria) were used to assess the criticality of highway network assets:

Health and Safety[8]


Using an appropriate and efficient method of assessing an MPO highway network requires that the links in the network (for example, one intersection/interchange to the next) be grouped into longer segments for analysis. For this study, a series of segments (identified in the scoring matrix) were identified which grouped together consecutive links that were of the same functional class into a single segment. Scoring was applied to the segments, not for individual links.

The methodology applied for the highway mode involved the collection and analysis of field data, GIS data, and other information provided from the SARPC and Mobile County for the purpose of generating a score for each particular column in the matrix. A summary of the methodology applied to develop results for each criterion is included below. Highway segments were scored as critical if they met the following criteria:

Assessment of Socioeconomic Importance
Assessment of Operational Hierarchy

The final score was determined by assigning the score of "1" an overall score of "1", scores of 2 and 3 an overall score of "2," and scores of 4 and 5 an overall score of "3".

Assessment of Health and Safety Importance


The overall criticality score was determined by summing a roadway facility's Socio-Economic, Operational, and Health and Safety factor scores. After this summation, an overall range was developed from all of the roadway scores. This range was then divided into three smaller ranges, which were then used to define the overall Low, Medium and High Criticality scores. Applying the criticality methodology to the highway network resulted in the identification of 152 miles of roadways and 71 bridges that are considered of highest importance to operating the roadway network in the study area. This assessment identified the following roads as the links of highest importance to the area:

Another 115 miles of the network and 23 bridges are considered of medium importance to the area, including US 90, University Boulevard, SR 163, and other area highways.

One hundred and sixty-nine miles and 39 bridges are considered low importance to the area based upon this analysis, including various minor roads such as Bellingrath Road (north of Industrial Road); County Roads 24, 28, 32, 33, 36, 40, 70, 72; and Irvington Bayou La Batre Highway, among others. Table 1 highlights the scoring criteria and results of the described methodology. (Note that in the table, 3 = Yes/High, 2 = Medium, 1 = No/Low.) Figure 3 presents this analysis graphically.

Figure 3: Highway Facilities Map

Figure 3 is a map of the study area that shows the highway segments deemed to be critical. Most critical segments run through or around the Downtown Mobile area, and radiate outward. Segments deemed to be critical include Highway 193 from Dauphin Island to I-10; Highway I-10 running southwest from Downtown Mobile across the bay to the border of Baldwin County; the Causeway, running from Downtown Mobile across the Bay to Baldwin County; Highway I-65, from the intersection of I-10, running north around Mobile and the east into Baldwin County; Highway 43, running North from Downtown Mobile, until several miles past the intersection with Highway 43; portions of highway 43 and 45 near the Downtown Mobile area; Government Street in Downtown Mobile; County Road 56, aka Airport Blvd.; University Blvd. between Old Shell Road and County Road 40; and I-165 in the northern area of Downtown Mobile.

Table 1: Highway Criticality Assessment

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
Facility Socioeconomic - Locally Identified Priority Corridors Socioeconomic - Functions as Community Connection Socioeconomic - System Redundancy Socioeconomic - Serves Regional Economic Centers Operational - Functional Classification (Interstate, etc.) Operational - Usage Operational - Intermodal Connectivity Health & Safety - Identified Evacuation Route Health & Safety - Component of Disaster Relief and Recovery Plan Health & Safety - Component of National Defense System Health & Safety - Provides Access to Health Facilities Criticality Score: (L - Low, M - Medium, H - High)
Airport Blvd (West of Snow Rd)11112213111L
Airport Blvd (East of Snow Rd)13133333112H
Argyle Rd11211111111L
Beauregard Street11123233311M
Bel Air Blvd11212211111L
Bellcase Rd11212211111L
Bellingrath Rd (South of Industrial Rd)11232213111M
Bellingrath Rd (North of Industrial Rd)11212213111L
Beverly Rd11211111111L
Broad Street (North of Spring Hill Ave)11133223311M
Broad Street (South of Spring Hill Ave)11133221111L
Canal St11132112111L
County Road 24 - Half Mile Rd11221111111L
County Road 28 - Old Pascagoula Rd11212211111L
County Road 32 - Three Notch Rd11212211111L
County Road 33 - Dawes Rd13212221111L
County Road 36 - Jeff Hamilton Rd13212111111L
County Road 37 - Cody Rd13231211112M
County Road 40 - Cottage Hill Rd13212211112L
County Road 70 - Old Shell Rd13232221111M
County Road 70 - Tanner Williams Rd11212221111L
County Road 72 - Howells Ferry Rd11211211111L
Craft Hwy33233333111H
Highway 193 - Dauphin Island Pkwy (Laurendine Rd to Baumhauer Rd)33233213311H
Highway 163 - Dauphin Island Pkwy (North of Hamilton Blvd)13233223311H
Highway 193 -Dauphin Island Pkwy (South of Baumhauer Rd)33313233111H
Highway 193 - Laurendine Rd33233213111H
Dekle St11231233111M
Demetropolis Service Rd13213211111L
Government Bl/US 90W (N of I10)11123213112M
Government Bl/US 90W (S of I10)11213213311M
Government St13133223311H
Grand Bay Wilmer Rd S11212213111L
Halls Mill Rd11212211111L
Hamilton Blvd (East of Rangeline Rd)11233213111M
Hamilton Blvd (West of Rangeline Rd)11223211111L
Highpoint Blvd11212211111L
Highway 217 - Lott Rd11112211111L
Highway 158 - Industrial Pkwy11223211111L
Highway 18813212223111M
Hillcrest Rd13222211112M
Holcombe Ave13211111111L
I-10 (West of I-65)13123323131H
I-10 (East of I-65)13133333131H
I-10 (East of I-65)13123332131H
Irvington Bayou La Batre Hwy13211113111L
Laurendine Rd11232113111L
Moffett Rd (W of N University Blvd)13223213112M
Moffett Rd (E of N University Blvd)13223213312H
N. University Blvd13223211111M
Old Shell Rd13232211112M
Padgette Switch Road33112211111L
Highway 193 - Rangeline Rd33233213111H
S. University Blvd13233311312H
Saraland Blvd N/Highway 43 (US 43/SR 13)33233223111H
Saraland Blvd S (US 43/SR 13)33233233111H
Schillinger Rd N11213212111L
Schillinger Rd S13213233111M
Snow Rd11212211111L
Sollie Rd13211211111L
Spring Hill Ave13233313312H
St. Stephen's Rd (N of S Craft Hwy)13223213112M
St. Stephen's Rd (S of S Craft Hwy)13223213312H
Telegraph Rd33233233311H
Theodore Dawes Rd11213222111L
Water St11133223111M

Note: For scoring purposes, 3 = Yes/High, 2 = Medium, 1 = No/Low.

Access to Other Modal Facilities

The assessment conducted for this report focused on identifying the most important roadways from a systems perspective. A number of roadways in Mobile provide connectivity to port, airport, rail, and transit facilities identified in the later sections of this report, but which would not be classified as highly critical by themselves. These connector roadways tend to be roads with lower classifications, and often do not have the traffic volume or other characteristics that would indicate criticality under this assessment.

Stakeholders expressed concern that the criticality analysis did not capture these connector roadways, and noted how vital these roads are to connect a highly critical port, rail, airport, or transit facility to nearby critical highways. To address this concern, the project team, to the extent possible, included these connector roadways as part of the corresponding critical rail/port/airport/transit facility assessment process. Thus, these connector roadways were not included on the list of critical highways, but would be captured as part of the critical list of rail/port/airport/transit facilities.

Figure 7 identifies some of the multimodal connections in the Mobile port area, as an example, showing access to rail and port facilities in that area.

Figure 4: Multimodal Connectors

Figure 4 is a map showing the area around the Mobile port. Eighteen port facilities are indicated on the map by blue dots. Red lines indicate multimodal connectors, which connect the ports to rail or highway.



The MATS Planning Area has a variety of transit services that play an important role in the community. Primary transit assets include those owned and managed by Wave Transit System, as it provides both fixed-route and demand-response (or brokered transportation) service. It is also the exclusive provider of paratransit service in the area. Other organizations, as identified in SARPC's coordinated human services transportation plan, receive some form of federal funding to offer demand-response services to people with special needs within the MATS Planning Area; these services are provided to a limited group of people who are clients of that particular organization.

The Mobile area does not currently have fixed-guideway transit or ferry terminals, but it does have bus and demand-response transit services. These services are, by their nature, flexible transit options with routes that are designed to facilitate access to key destinations and are periodically evaluated to determine the need for service changes (enhancements, reductions, or even cuts). Buses also can be easily rerouted onto any roadway (major or local) to adjust to planned or unexpected service disruptions. Additionally, maintenance of and improvements to roadways on which transit service is provided are subject to the decisions of other agencies. Lastly, bus routes operate along major and minor roadway arterials. With Wave Transit System operating anywhere from 30- to 60-minute headways on routes, the criticality rating of any roadway on which a route operates would not increase significantly due to the transit use. For these reasons, bus routes were not considered as "transit assets."

The key assets of the Wave Transit System evaluated were: its operations fleet (the buses and demand-response vehicles that facilitate service along fixed routes or through scheduled trips); maintenance vehicles; and operations and maintenance centers.


The nature of transit assets in the Mobile area lend themselves toward qualitative rather than quantitative evaluations. The three primary assessment categories used throughout Task 1 to assess criticality - operational, socioeconomic, and health and safety - are used here to guide the qualitative discussion of the importance of transit to the Mobile area. Within these categories, the discussion considers the following:


The assessment was primarily based on the review of Mobile MPO's 2035 MATS Long Range Transportation Plan, SARPC's 2008 Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan, Wave Transit System's 2010 Hurricane Manual, and Wave Transit System's web site. The project team also obtained information on operations and facilities from a telephone conversation with Wave Transit System planning and operations staff[11], various publications and internet sources.

Although transit in the Mobile area relies heavily on roadway infrastructure, the project team's assessment of criticality of the transit system was based on physical infrastructure and assets under the purview of Wave Transit System. As this was a qualitative assessment, no scoring methodology was applied to the transit mode. However, as this tool will be applied to transportation systems across the county, scoring matrices used in the analyses of other modes such as railroads, in combination with some criteria used for transit, could guide assessments of larger transit systems that include fixed-guideway modes such as light, heavy, or commuter rail.


The assessment of socioeconomic factors considered service to transit-dependent and environmental justice (EJ) populations, as well as the system's ability to provide access to employment and major attractors. These factors were assessed based on a mapping overlay of fixed-route bus service and attraction zones, major employers, and EJ zones.


Operational factors included the types/varieties of vehicles, fleet size, and facilities. These characteristics were assessed based on information from the long-range transportation plan and discussions with Wave Transit System staff. Typically this type of information can be used to identify the hierarchy of various facilities. However, for this study, the limited number of facilities did not lend itself to this type of analysis.

Health and Safety

The assessment of health and safety factors considered transit's ability to provide access to major medical, health and safety facilities and its role during weather emergencies and evacuations. These criteria were assessed using the same mapping overlay for the socioeconomic factors and Wave Transit System's hurricane manual.


The socioeconomic factors in the Mobile area address transit's ability to serve both transit-dependent and environmental justice (EJ) populations, as well as provide access to employment and major attractors for these populations using Wave Transit System's bus and demand response services. The critical assets for this factor are the operating fleet used to facilitate bus service. Service operating along the fixed routes or according to scheduled service help those served primarily by Wave Transit System connect to support networks such as family and friends living in various communities throughout the Mobile area. The service also helps ensure many of Mobile's transit-dependent and environmental justice populations have access to essential facilities and major employers. As shown in Figure 5, Wave Transit System provides vital connections among EJ populations, the centers of many essential facilities, and clusters of major employers in the Mobile area.

Fixed-route service is provided to many of the MATS Planning Area's EJ zones (or transportation analysis zones in which at least 37.5 percent and/or 18.5 percent of the population is minority and below the poverty line, respectively).[12] The service connects EJ populations to many of the area's attraction zones - medical, post-secondary educational, and retail facilities - as well as the central business district. Wave Transit Systems also provides neighborhood circulator and door-to-door services to transit-dependent customers who live in areas not served by fixed-route service or meet certain requirements for more flexible service.

Figure 5 is a map of the study area, overlaid with bus routes to show where the bus routes are in relation to certain features in Mobile. The map shows the location of major employers, key attraction zones in Mobile, areas of Mobile County that are at least 37.5 percent minority population, areas that are at least 18.5 percent meeting poverty threshold, and areas that are both at least 37.5 percent minority population and where at least 18.5 percent of population meets the poverty threshold. This last category is concentrated around the central Mobile area. The map also indicates the location of the 2 critical assets for transit: the Beltline facility and the Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Terminal. Figure 5: Transit Accessibility and Identified Critical Infrastructure

The operational factors address the types and variety of services offered by Wave Transit System, its fleet size, and facilities. The critical assets are the fixed and demand-response vehicles and operations and maintenance facilities. Wave Transit System administers fixed-route (11 local bus routes, Moda! downtown circulator, and Baylinc regional connection between Mobile and Baldwin Counties) and demand-response (neighborhood, Access-a-Ride, and paratransit services). Fixed-route service covered 264 round-trip miles in 2008; demand-response service was assumed to vary based on the number of subscribers and the multitude of both typical and occasional destinations. With a fleet of 38 buses and 31 demand-response vehicles, Wave Transit System provided an average of 4,100 weekday, 2,500 Saturday, and 18 Sunday trips in 2008 (Sunday is limited to demand-response service). Additionally, there are four maintenance vehicles for servicing buses and demand-response vans in need of repair. Two additional demand-response vehicles and 10 replacement buses were purchased through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding. Together, the 38 buses and 33 demand-response vehicles comprising Wave Transit System's fleet can be considered critical to transit-dependent people in the MATS Planning Area.

Wave Transit System operates from two locations. One of these locations is the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio (GM&O) Terminal, which houses some of the agency's administrative functions and serves as the main and central transfer hub for most of Wave Transit System's radial fixed-route service. Nine of the 11 routes terminate at the GM&O Terminal and the facility has 12 total bus bays for use. The second location is the Beltline facility, which houses the agency's main administrative functions, demand-response scheduling service, and operations and maintenance facility. It also is the depot for Wave Transit System's operations fleet and four maintenance vehicles. As an example of the Beltline facility's importance, during Hurricane Katrina, Wave Transit System stored its fleet in the garages at the Beltline facility. While the administrative building itself sustained damage due to the storm, the fleet did not.

The health and safety factors address access to major medical, health, and safety facilities, and Wave Transit System's role during weather emergencies and evacuations. The critical assets for this factor would be the operations fleet used to facilitate various services. As previously noted under the socioeconomic factor, major medical facilities can be accessed by transit-dependent and EJ populations using Wave Transit System's services. In terms of safety, transit plays an important role during weather emergencies and evacuations. With one of the key threats to the MATS Planning Area being hurricanes, Wave Transit System, under direction from the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency, provides evacuation services. The agency focuses primarily on transporting people who are "relatively healthy and ambulatory" (2010 Hurricane Manual, p. 43), as well as people with special needs (those with physical, emotional, or sensory impairments who are unable to respond independently to an emergency situation). Wave Transit System provides transportation from pre-designated pick-up locations to drop-off locations at American Red Cross shelters. The agency also continues to provide demand-response service, limiting it to transport clients only to essential medical treatment. During the recovery phase, Wave Transit System returns evacuees from drop-off locations to their pick-up points and gradually resumes fixed-route and demand-response services at normal levels.

Overall, the critical infrastructure and assets for transit in the Mobile area are the GM&O Terminal, the Beltline facility, and the entire fixed-route and demand-response fleet.



Five railroads operating along 589 miles of tracks[13] are located within Mobile County. Of these, three are identified as critical. Class I railroads are the largest of the national freight railroads, based on operating revenue. Smaller railroads are classified as either Class II or Class III. Mobile is served by three Class I ($250M annual operating revenue), one Class II ($20.5 to $250M), and one industrial railroad. These five railroads converge at Alabama State Docks and the facilities from the Chickasawbouge River to McDuffy Island. All five carriers operate virtually at sea level. All have rail yards and support facilities adjacent to or very near all the port facilities, as well as track entering/exiting the study area.

In the study area, CSX Transportation (CSXT) serves the Brookley Industrial Park and the Theodore Industrial Park at Theodore, Alabama. It handles approximately 40 million gross ton miles (GTM)[14] east of Mobile and 30 million GTM west of Mobile leaving 10 million GTM of freight being carried to and from Mobile each year. Norfolk Southern (NS) hauls five million to 10 million GTM with Canadian National Railway (CN) and Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway (AGR) each handling one million to five million GTM. Each of these carriers, except Terminal Railroad of the Alabama State Docks (TASD), is privately-owned and has a long history of serving Mobile.

TASD is the rail operating unit of the Alabama State Port Authority, an agency of the State of Alabama. Each carrier provides access to the national rail network. The CSXT route provides a vital link to the west through interchange connections with western rail carriers Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) in New Orleans as well as to the east, northeast, and the balance of the CSXT network. This expansive network makes CSXT connections of paramount importance. NS operates north to the heart of that carrier's eastern network. AGR operates over NS rail lines to Kimbrough, where it connects to its own line to Columbus, Mississippi and additionally connects to the BNSF system serving all of the American West and much of western Canada. Currently, there is no passenger train service to Mobile.

Field visits provided information on observed commodities hauled by some of the railroads. CSXT transports wood chips, miscellaneous box cars, aggregates and minerals to the ports and intermodal facilities. NS primarily hauls coal and pulp wood.


The 16 individual criteria used to assess the criticality of railroad network assets included:


Initially, the project team requested from each of the operating carriers in Mobile a broad range of data (gross tonnage, yard tonnage, operations information, etc.) to be used to evaluate the criticality of rail assets. Only one carrier, CSXT, responded, stating that that all the information requested was proprietary and of commercial value to competitors. CSXT did provide track charts for their two subdivisions serving Mobile which were used in this analysis.

Due to lack of available data, the project team assessed each of the three criteria categories (socioeconomic, operational, and health and safety) based on professional judgment and review of the following resources:

These resources enabled the project team to identify track ownership on the individual railroad operators and also various facilities comprising the assets within Mobile. Part of the data collection also considered the extent of geographic flows for each railroad and their connections to other facilities. Site visits helped verify data gathered from these various resources (e.g., operations, interchange, non-marine traffic).

The criticality of each component was evaluated as low, medium, and high based on results across a range of criteria (some of which are binary, e.g., yes/no, and others reflecting quantitative information, such as tonnage). Scoring was determined based on an assessment of the value of each facility as compared to others but not through a calculation of matrix values as applied for other modes. In some matrix cells a binary result (yes or no) was scored, in others operational information is noted. As the lack of available information made scoring difficult the assessment was made based on the data that was available. The various criteria cells in the matrix were completed using some resources (as noted above) but primarily through field investigations on site - conducted over the week of May 3, 2010. Some of the criteria scores were determined without an information resource but through knowledge of the professional assigned to this task.

Health and Safety


Table 2 summarizes the evaluation of each facility. Of the five railroads operating within Mobile County, three are rated the highest: CSXT, NS, and TASD. Of 589 miles on which these railroads operate, 347 miles are considered critical. Within the CSXT facility, the Montgomery to Mobile and New Orleans to Mobile subdivisions and the Sibert Yard are considered most critical. The NS subdivision is also considered to be at this highest level of criticality. These assets transport and store the highest annual tonnage compared to all the other assets in Mobile. Data for the railroads was difficult to come by as much of the details for railroad operations are not public record. Therefore, professional judgment, combined with observation, and what data was available all played a role in the determination of criticality. When available, data was used to inform judgment about criticality. When data was not available, expert judgment was based on the information that was available.

Within the "Facility" column of Table 2, those facilities which are left justified are the primary facilities. The facilities that are indented below the primary facility are the sub-facilities whose information was used to feed into the criticality assessment of the primary facility. Within the TASD facility, the Main Docks Complex, TASD Interchange Yard, and McDuffie Terminal are considered most critical. These facilities provide direct access to many of Mobile's ports, as well as provide yard access to all five railroads operating in Mobile. Because of the functions of these assets, the loss of any one of them would not only greatly affect rail operations and the transport of commodities through and within Mobile, but also employment in the area, as the operations of the railroad assets also closely relate to port operations. Overall, a higher tonnage transported within the area translates to higher economic value, which affects both operational and socioeconomic assessment categories.

CN assets are rated as medium because the annual GTM and yard tonnage it handles is low relative to the other railroad assets. AGR is rated lowest for similar reasons. Additionally, AGR serves a very local and limited purpose of providing access to local industries compared to the other assets.

Although the railroads are not directly part of the national defense system, the evaluation of the health and safety assessment category highlights the relatively low probability of delivering viable public assistance from the railroads in the Mobile area in the event of major weather events. Freight railroads such as those serving Mobile do not own passenger cars, and currently Amtrak does not serve Mobile. Amtrak's resources are fully deployed in maintaining their national intercity passenger service operation. Consequently, Amtrak does not have a readily available passenger car fleet that could be employed in an emergency situation for use in a local or broader evacuation.

Figure 6: Railroad Facilities Map

Figure 6 is a map of the study area, overlaid with the rail lines running through the area. All line radiate out from the port area. The critical infrastructure are indicated in red, and include the following three lines: the CSX NO&M Subdivision line, which runs from the port area southwest into Mississippi; the CSX M&M Subdivision line, which runs northeast from the port area into Baldwin County; and the Norfolk Southern Line, which runs north from the port area to beyond the Mobile County boundary. The map also indicates critical facilities with red dots, which are concentrated around the port area. A map inset displays the port area from a more zoomed in perspective, in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Railroad Facilities Map

Figure 7 is an inset of the Figure 6 Railroad Facilities Map, showing the port area in closer detail. The critical infrastructure is shown in red, and includes the Norfolk Southern Yard, the TASD Interchange Yard, the CSX Seibert Yard, and the TASD Dockside Yard.

Table 2: Railroad Criticality Assessment

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
No. Facility* Socioeconomic - Part of National/Intl Commerce System Socioeconomic - Important Multi-Modal Linkage Socioeconomic - Functions as Community Connection Socioeconomic - Serves Regional Economic Centers Operational - Main Track Classification Operational - Annual Gross Tonnage Operational - Yard Annual Tonnage Operational - Current Rail Facility Capacity Utilization Operational - Operations (Merchandise, Intermodal, Bulk, Break Bulk etc.) Operational - Interchange Utility Operational - Local Non-Marine Traffic Health & Safety - Self Administered Evacuation Plans Health & Safety - Part of Disaster Relief & Recovery Plan Health & Safety - Identified Hazardous Materials Transfer Point Health & Safety - Part of National Defense System Health & Safety - Provides Materials to Health Facilities Criticality Score: (Low, Medium, High)
1CSX - M&M Subdivision (Montgomery to Mobile)YYYY440 MAll YNNYNH
1aCSX M&M Subdivision CTS SystemY H
1bCSX M&M Subdivision Grade Crossing ProtectionY H
1cCSX M&M Subdivision Radio Communications EquipmentY H
1dCSX M&M Subdivision Tensaw River Swing Span Bridge MP 651.6Y H
1eCSX M&M Subdivision Mobile River Swing Span Bridge MP 651.7Y H
1fCSX M&M Subdivision Bayou Sara River Swing Span Bridge MP 658.7Y H
1gCSX M&M Subdivision Chickasawbouge River Swing Span Bridge MP 663.2Y H
1hCSX M&M Subdivision Threemile Creek Swing Span Bridge MP664.2Y H
2CSX - Sibert Yard MP 665.2 - 668.3YYYYYard 10MAllGoodYYNNYNH
2aCSX - Sibert Yard, Yard OfficeY M
2bCSX - Sibert Yard Locomotive Shop - Running RepairsY Yard M
2cCSX - Sibert Yard Turntable & turntable PitiY Yard H
2dCSX - Sibert Yard Locomotive Pit - Fueling and InspectionY Yard M
2eCSX - Sibert Yard Intermodal Load/Unload TrackY Yard L
2fCSX - Sibert Yard Crew Locker roomY L
2gCSX - Sibert Yard Car ShopY Yard M
3CSX - NO&M Subdivision (New Orleans to Mobile)YYYY430 MAll YNNYNH
3aCSX - NO&M Subdivision CTS SystemY H
3bCSX - NO&M Subdivision Grade Crossing ProtectionY H
3cCSX - NO&M Subdivision Radio Communications EquipmentY H
3dCSX - NO&M Subdivision Brookley Industrial ParkYYYY H
3eCSX - NO&M Subdivision Theodore Industrial ParkYYYYYard H
4NS Subdivision from Birmingham to MobileYYYY35-10 LBulk & Brk BulkGood YNNYNH
4aNS Grade Crossing ProtectionY H
4bNS Subdivision Radio Communications EquipmentY H
4cNS Mobile Yard - Along Telegraph RoadYYYYYard 5-10 YYNNYNH
4dNS Transloading Facility Off Beauregard StreetYYYYYard M
5CN Subdivision from Hattiesburg to MobileYYYY31-5 LBulk & MdseGood YNNYNM
5aCN Grade Crossing ProtectionY M
5bCN Subdivision Radio Communications EquipmentY M
5cCN Yard - Mobile Along Telegraph RoadYYYYYard 1-5LBulk & Mdse lowYNNYNM
5dCN Locomotive Shop & Fuel FacilityY L
5eCN Car ShopY L
6AGR Saraland to MobileiiYYYY31-5 L L
6aAGR Grade Crossing ProtectionY L
6bAGR Yard - Mobile Along Telegraph RoadYY Yard 1-5 Bulk & MdseGoodYYNNYNL
6cAGR Yard Office Along Telegraph RoadY M
6dAGR Numerous industry tracks Mobile, Prichard, ChickasawYYYYYard Mdse & Brk Bulk M
7TASD - Main Docks Complex - 30 some different facilitiesYYYYYard M-HMdse Brk Bulk YNNYNH
8TASD - International Trade Center - ASD and TASDYYYYYard M
9TASD - Mobile Container FacilityYYYYYard LTOFC - COFC M
10TASD - McDuffie Terminal - Import & Export Coal FacilityYYYYYard Bulk H
10aTASD - McDuffie Terminal Railcar Maintenance FacilityY M
11TASD - Garrow's Bend ICTF (future)YYYYYard NewFuture IM M
12TASD Terminal YardYYYYYard 10-20M-HAll M
13TASD Interchange YardYYYYYard M-HAllGood H
13aTASD Interchange Yard Locomotive ShopY M
13bTASD Interchange Yard Locomotive Fuel FacilityY M
13cTASD Interchange Yard Equipment maintenance facilityY M
13dTASD Interchange Yard Track Maintenance FacilityY M
14TASD Industry Leads North of Threemile CreekYYYYYard MMdse Brk Bulk Y M
14aTASD Threemile Creek Draw BridgeY M


  1. Approximately five feet deep
  2. Has operating rights to Kimbrough via NS

    * In the "Facility" column, the data and assessment of all of the facilities that are italicized (also indicated with a, b, c, etc.) went into the final determination of criticality for the primary facilities, which are not italicized and whose numbering contains only a number and no letters. Because of this, the data from the "sub-facilities" was not included in Table 2 as it would be largely identical to that of the primary facilities. Criticality was based on information available. In some cases, specific data points were unavailable for certain assets; in those cases, criticality was based on the information that was available.



Sixty-one marine facilities are located within Mobile County. Of these, 23 are identified as critical. The major marine facilities are located within Mobile Harbor. Mobile Harbor consists of Mobile Bay (channel depth maintained at 45 feet), Mobile River (40 feet), Theodore Channel (40 feet), Chickasaw and Three Mile Creeks (13 to 39 feet), and Bayou La Batre (12.5 to 13.5 feet). Mobile County marine facilities handled around 67.5 million short tons of cargo in 2008 and 64.5 million short tons of cargo in 2007. The marine facilities consist of the public port authority, the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA), and several privately owned facilities. The facilities operated by ASPA handle approximately 30% of the total Mobile County cargo, whereas the rest of the cargo flowing through Mobile Harbor is handled by privately owned facilities. These facilities handle various types of cargo - containers, break bulk (individually packaged items, often bound together on pallets), neo bulk (cars, lumber, scrap metal), dry bulk (coal, grain), liquid bulk and seafood-and they additionally perform ship-building and repair services. The marine facilities act as gateways for commerce for the area as well as provide support for various inland industries and the offshore oil industry.


The 17 individual criteria used to assess the criticality of marine network assets included:

Health and Safety


The mix of privately owned/operated facilities, publicly owned/operated facilities, and publicly owned-privately operated facilities creates a unique mix when compared with other transportation infrastructure. The highly competitive nature of these facilities results in most of the cargo and terminal operation data being deemed proprietary. The study team therefore collected data and information through internet research and public data sources, which included U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Waterborne Commerce reports. Due to the lack of publicly available information, the team also conducted in-person interviews. The study team attempted to contact all 61 waterfront facilities within Mobile County and were only able to interview and tour with the various facilities owned by ASPA and nine private marine facilities. The rest of the marine terminals opted not to participate or were unable to commit resources due to their involvement with the BP oil spill cleanup. The private terminals were reviewed using both aerial images and by looking over their gates to verify infrastructure and assets by observing the facilities from public property.

A total of 61 marine terminals were evaluated against the criteria and were rated from high to low. Those rated high were considered to be highly critical infrastructure given the role they play in sustaining the study area's transportation economy and a lack of redundancy. Those rated medium were medium-level critical infrastructure with their role in supporting the regional and local transportation economy not considered as important as those rated high. Those rated low were considered to be low-level critical infrastructure. These assets play a role in the regional and local transportation economy; however, their function, size and redundancy within the system do not make them critical. The determination of criticality was based on a combination of professional judgment and available data. Because many of the ports are privately owned and/or operated, much of the information on port operations was not publically available. In these instances, the information and data that was available was used to inform professional judgment in assessing the criticality of the port. Figure 8 shows all the ports identified in Mobile and those that were evaluated as being most critical. Table 3 shows the marine terminals and their evaluation.

Health and Safety

Figure 8: Port Facilities Map

Figure 8 is a map of the port areas in Mobile; critical and non-critical facilities are indicated on the map with dots. The first page of the map shows the main port area, located east and slightly north of Downtown Mobile. On this map, many of the port facilities are located along the Mobile River. The second page of the map shows the southern port area, near Theodore. Here, the ports are located around the Middle Fork Deer River.

Figure 8: Port Facilities Map (continued)

Figure 8, continued. Figure 8 is a map of the port areas in Mobile; critical and non-critical facilities are indicated on the map with dots. The first page of the map shows the main port area, located east and slightly north of Downtown Mobile. On this map, many of the port facilities are located along the Mobile River. The second page of the map shows the southern port area, near Theodore. Here, the ports are located around the Middle Fork Deer River.

Table 3: Ports Criticality Assessment

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
No. Facility Socioeconomic - Part of National/Intl Commerce System Socioeconomic - Important Multi-Modal Linkage Socioeconomic - Functions as community connection Socioeconomic - No System Redundancy Socioeconomic - Serves Regional Economic Centers Operational - Port Use/Demand Operational - Port Capacity Operational - Port Cargo Value Operational - Operations Operational - Channel & Berth Depth Operational - Maximum Vessel Size Health & Safety - Identified in Evacuation plans Health & Safety - Component of Disaster Relief & recovery Plan Health & Safety - Identified Hazardous Materials Transfer Point Health & Safety - Component of National Defense System Health & Safety - Provides materials to Health Facilities Criticality Score: (1-High, 2-Medium, 3-Low)
1Chickasaw Creek - B & F Terminal Co., Chickasaw WharfY Y 3
2Chickasaw Creek - Gulf Atlantic Oil Refining Co., North TerminalY Y Y Y 1
3Chickasaw Creek - Mobile-Chickasaw Port Facility, Pier AYYY 2
4Chickasaw Creek - Occidental Chemical Corp., Caustic-Soda Wharf Y Y Y 2
5Chickasaw Creek - Overseas Hardwoods Co., Chickasaw Barge Slip Y 2
6Chickasaw Creek - Auto Shred Recycling, Chickasaw Wharf Y Y 3
7Chickasaw Creek - Waterways Towing and Offshore ServicesYYY Y 2
8Chickasaw Creek - Crimson Shipping, Chickasaw Y Y 3
9Chickasaw Creek - Warrior and Gulf Navigation Co., Fuel-Oil Y 2
10Chickasaw Creek - Eagle's landing, USI & Kumzu marine Y Y 3
11Chickasaw Creek - Tecnico Y 3
12Industrial Canal - Buchanan Lumber Mobile, Industrial Canal Log Dump Y 3
13Industrial Canal - Damrich Coatings, Mobile Wharf Y 2
14Industrial Canal - Goldin Industries, Mobile Barge Terminal Wharf Y 2
15Industrial Canal - H & B Welding Service, Industrial Canal Dock Y 2
16Industrial Canal - Lafarge, Mobile Industrial Canal Wharf Y 2
17Industrial Canal - Buchanan Lumber Mobile, Industrial Canal Docks Y Y 2
18Industrial Canal - Crescent Towing & Salvage Co., River A Wharf Y 1
19Mobile River - Alabama Bulk Terminal Co.YYY Y5.4M barrels crude oil 1.3M barrel storage40 feet800' tanker Y 1
20Mobile River - P & H Construction Corp. Y 2
21Mobile River - Vulcan Materials Co., Blakeley Island Yard Dock Y Y 2
22Mobile River - Mobile Container TerminalYYYYY 350,000 TEU 45 feet8000 TEU vessel Y 1
23Mobile River - Mobile Cruise Terminal YYY160,000 passengers200,000 passengers 40 feet2600 passengers 1
24Mobile River - TransMontaigne Product ServicesYYY Y 1
25Mobile River - Atlantic Marine YY 1
26Mobile River - Signal Shipbuilding & Repair Co. Y 2
27Mobile River - BP Oil Co., Mobile Terminal Barge WharfYYY Y 1
28Mobile River - C & G Boat Works, Mobile Wharf Y Ship Repairs 3
29Mobile River - Cargill Marketing Co., Blakeley Island Elevator WharfY Y 2
30Mobile River - City of Mobile, Barge Wharf 2
31Mobile River - Gulf Atlantic OilYYY Y Y 1
32Mobile River - Plains MarketingYYYYY5.4M barrels crude oil 1.7M barrel storage40 feet Y 1
33Mobile River - Gulf Coast Asphalt Co., Mobile Terminal WharfY YYY Y 1
34Mobile River - Harrison Bros. Drydock & Repair Yard Piers Y 3
35Mobile River - Kimberly-Clark Corp., Mobile RiverY Y Y 1
36Mobile River - ChipcoY Y 2
37Mobile River - Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, Mobile Terminal PierY Y Y Y 1
38Mobile River - Mobile Abrasives PierY Y Y 2
39Mobile River - National Marine, Blakeley Island Fleet Mooring 3
40Mobile River - Shell Chemical Co.YYYYY Y 1
41Mobile River - Southern Fish & Oyster Co., Mobile Dock Y Y 2
42Mobile River - U.S. Coast Guard Pier YY YY YY1
43Mobile River - Mobile River Terminal Co.Y Y 2
44Mobile River - Dunhill Y Y 2
45Mobile River - AustalY YY Y 1
46Mobile River - Alabama State Port AuthorityiYYYYY Warehousing40 feetVariesY YY 1
47Theodore Ship Canal - Environmental Treatment Team Wharf 1
48Theodore Ship Canal - Evonik IndustriesYYY Y 1
49Theodore Ship Canal - Exxon Co. U.S.A. WharfYYYY Y 2
50Theodore Ship Canal - Holcim Cement WharfY YYY 1
51Theodore Ship Canal - Martin Marietta AggregatesYYYYY 1
52Theodore Ship Canal - M-I Drilling Fluids, Theodore Wharf YY Y 3
53Theodore Ship Canal - Midstream Fuel Service, Offshore Facility Service Y Y Y 2
54Theodore Ship Canal - Mobile Bay Wood-Chip Center, Shipping Dock Y 2
55Theodore Ship Canal - Southeast Wood Fibers, Receiving Dock Y 2
56Theodore Ship Canal - Standard Concrete Products YYY 1
57Theodore Ship Canal - Theodore Industrial Port Y 2
58Theodore Ship Canal - Millard Refrigerated Services YYY 2
59Theodore Ship Canal - Tiger Offshore Y 3
60Three Mile Creek - Jordan Pile Driving, Marine Yard Wharf Y 3
61Bayou La BatreY Y Y10,000 tons seafood US$ 35 millionSeafood, Shipbuilding, OSV Operations 1

i. Also within Theodore Ship Channel


The determination of criticality was based on a combination of professional judgment and available data on port operations, the impact the port has on commerce, the connectivity the port provides in the local community, and the port's impact on the health and safety of the community living within the study area. Because many of the ports are privately owned and/or operated, much of the information on port operations was not publically available. In these instances, the information and data that was available was used to inform professional judgment in assessing the criticality of the port.[19]

Twenty-three marine terminals were determined to be most critical among the 61 marine terminals within Mobile County. These terminals include ASPA, Atlantic Marine, Mobile Cruise Terminal, Mobile Container terminal, and crude oil terminals. All play important roles in providing essential waterborne commerce and critical intermodal linkage between ships, barges, railroads, pipelines, and trucks. Disruptions in facilities like Martin Marietta, Holcim Cement, Plains Marketing, and Alabama Bulk Terminal would cause serious damage to Mobile's economy. Others such as Austal and Atlantic Marine are the biggest shipyards on the U.S. Gulf Coast and would cause a disruption in ship repair and shipbuilding activities. Facilities such as Oil Recovery Company and the U.S. Coast Guard provide essential services as part of disaster recovery plans. Others such as Evonik rely on their waterfront infrastructure to operate their industrial facility and employ a considerable number of Mobile residents. ASPA and TransMontaigne Product Services have four and two marine terminals, respectively, in Mobile that were assessed as being most critical. The marine facilities in Bayou La Batre consist of several facilities catering to commercial fishing and offshore vessels. For this analysis, these facilities were lumped together under Port of Bayou La Batre.

Twenty-six terminals were determined to have a medium-level of criticality within Mobile County. Facilities like Lafarge, Buchanan Lumber, and Chipco use their waterfront infrastructure to handle cargo such as sand, gravel, wood chips, and other dry bulk commodities that serve industries within the area economy. A disruption in these facilities would result in costly alternatives for cargo movement for inland industries and may reduce their competitiveness nationally or regionally. These terminals also employ considerable numbers of people and provide important community connections.

Twelve of the 61 marine terminals within Mobile County were determined to have low-level criticality. In addition, most of these low-level critical terminals either have intermittent contract work, such as Tiger Offshore, or have small operations like M-I Drilling Fluids and Tecnico. If some of these facilities, such as Crimson Shipping or B&F Terminal, are disrupted, cargo could be accommodated at other terminals. These facilities still serve important functions providing for regional commerce and job generation.

In addition, it was determined that marine facilities on Theodore Channel, Mobile River, and Industrial Canal were generally found to be much more critical in function, intermodal-connections, and purpose than the ones on Chickasaw Creek and Three Mile Creek.



Seventeen aviation facilities (airports, fields, heliports) are located within Mobile County. Four airports are publicly owned and operated, and the others are operated by either individuals or, in the case of the heliports, businesses. The four publicly owned and operated airports are Mobile Regional, Mobile Downtown (alternative known as Brookley Field), St. Elmo, and Dauphin Island Airports. Other airports within the Mobile area are typically private airfields, each consisting primarily of a turf runway and small, private hangars capable of handling nothing larger than a single-engine aircraft. There are also concrete helipads - measuring no larger than 40 feet by 40 feet - that specifically serve either a medical facility or a petroleum service company. Although they are not top-priority aviation facilities, the helipads accommodate emergency medical response or link to offshore oil platforms. In general, there are three aviation categories:


The 20 individual criteria used to assess the criticality of airport network assets included:

Health and Safety


Where possible, criteria were identified to reflect data available in FAA planning documents to allow for efficient scoring. Generally, the assumptions in this analysis recognized that commercial airports are the most important to the area, other public airports were next and airports of lesser use and/or private ownership were lower in hierarchy.

The information collected and analyzed to determine the criticality of airports in the Mobile area came primarily from FAA and state aviation documents. Those documents include the FAA Form 5010 summaries, which are located in a database on the FAA's website and provide summaries by airport, by county or by state. These summaries are a dataset developed for each airport and include airport location, runway data, number of aircraft based at the airport, annual operations, enplanements, and other information related to the airport. The other summary documents reviewed in developing the initial airport list and inventory are the Alabama Statewide Airport System Plan and the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.

For socioeconomic factors, the regional airports were assessed using information from the Alabama Statewide Airport System Plan for their contributions to economic activity in the area and whether other airports had the capacity to absorb operations should a particular facility be shut down for any reason.

Operational factors were derived directly from the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems[20] and used to identify airport classification, usage, categories, aircraft and other characteristics that establish a hierarchy among airports.

Health and safety factors applied to a few of the aviation facilities, particularly the heliports, as some were part of medical facilities or provided support to offshore operations. No airports are identified as part of evacuation or recovery plans.

Scoring of the airports was based on grading of individual components and based on some level of professional judgment when differentiating between individual airports. There was no weighting applied but greater consideration was given to airports that were designated in the NPIAS and Statewide Airport System Plans.

Airports were evaluated against the criteria and rated from "high" to "low." Those rated "high" were considered to be essential due to their role in the national and statewide aviation systems, their levels of activity and physical capabilities which provide an unduplicated level of service to the public. Airports rated "medium" are included on the national and statewide system plans and serve support functions on a regional level within Mobile County. Airports rated "low" were privately owned, limited in purpose, and had minimal to no activity. It should be noted that documents did not confirm if Mobile Regional, Mobile, Downtown, St. Elmo and Dauphin Island Airports were identified as part of evacuation, relief, or recovery plans.

Figure 9 shows all airport facilities in Mobile and highlights the most critical facilities. Table 4 summarizes the evaluation of the airports and heliports in Mobile County against the criteria used to determine criticality of infrastructure.


Mobile Regional and Mobile Downtown Airports are considered to be the most critical airports because of their level of activity, their ability to support all but the largest aircraft in public use, their capability to accommodate aircraft operations in inclement weather, and their vital importance to the economy of the area. They are the only airports identified as qualifying under the socioeconomic assessment category. Mobile Regional is part of the nationwide transportation system; it is the only airport in Mobile County that can accommodate scheduled passenger and cargo air service. Mobile Downtown supports primarily air cargo service, with rail, highway, and maritime service in close proximity. The industrial and commercial base found at the Brookley Industrial Complex is unique to Mobile Downtown Airport. In terms of the operational assessment category, Mobile Regional and Mobile Downtown are certificated under FAR Part 139 for passenger service. Because of the length of their runways, both airports are capable of handling aircraft with Group V wingspans (maximum of 213 feet, corresponding to a Boeing 747-400), as well as Category D aircraft (approach speeds up to 166 knots). Mobile Regional is considered a primary airport under NPIAS, while Mobile Downtown is considered a general aviation airport. Under the Statewide Airport System Plan, both are considered national airports.

St. Elmo and Dauphin Island Airports rate as "medium," because they support general aviation activities in Mobile County and have durable pavements that can support heavier, higher-performance aircraft. Dauphin Island Airport's role is unique in that it is the only airport serving a barrier island and is the only means of reaching the island if vehicle access were not possible. These airports are limited to Group I (less than 49 feet) wingspans and can accommodate Category B (approach speeds under 121 knots) aircraft. Under NPIAS, both Dauphin Island and St. Elmo Airports are considered general aviation airports, and under the Statewide Airport System Plan, St. Elmo is a regional airport and Dauphin Island is a local airport.

For the health and safety factors, information on the use of airports in evacuation plans or being part of disaster relief and recovery plans was unavailable for the Mobile area and therefore could not be evaluated. However, it is important to retain these criteria as they may be important to other airports across the country.

Figure 9: Airport Facilities Map

Figure 9 is a map of the study area, with the airport facilities indicated with dots. Two airport facilities—Mobile Regional Airport and the Mobile Downtown Airport—are noted as critical facilities.

Table 4: Airports Criticality Assessment

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
No. Facility Socioeconomic - Part of National/Intl Commerce System Socioeconomic - Important Multi-Modal Linkage Socioeconomic - Functions as Community Connection Socioeconomic - No System Reducndancy Socioeconomic - Serves Regional Economic Centers Operational - Status (Commercial, Military, Public Use, Private) Operational - FAR Part 139 Certification Operational - Aircraft Performance and Dimensions (Approach Speed Codes - A,B,C,D,E; Aircraft Design Group - I, II, III, IV, V, VI) Operational - Instrumentation (Precision, Non-Precision, Visual) Operational - Category within National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (Primary, Reliever, General Aviation) Operational - Category Within Statewide Airport System Plan (International, National, Regional, Community, Local) Operational - Passenger Enplanements (2009) Operational - Annual Aircraft Operations (2009) Operational - Based Aircraft (2009) Operational - Economic Impact ($ millions - annual)(2003) Health & Safety - Identified in Evacuation Plans Health & Safety - Disaster Relief/Recovery Plan Component Health & Safety - Component of National Defense System Health & Safety - Provides Support to Health Facilities Health & Safety - Provides Support to Offshore Facilities Criticality Score - (H-High, M-Medium, L-Low)
1MOBILE REGIONALY YYYCI, CD, VPPN 281,806 116,75759 $419.7 Y H
3ST ELMO PU B, INPGAR 20,40032 $ 1.0 M
5ROY E. RAY PU A, IV 6,97835 L

About half of the airports that were rated "low" have a minimal level of activity or serve niche functions within Mobile County. Two private airports, Roy E. Ray and Mark Reynolds/North Mobile County Airport, rate between "medium" and "low" due to the concentrations of based aircraft at each airport and their availability to the public for aviation activities. Heliports providing specialized support service to the petroleum industry and to the local medical centers also rated between "medium" and "low." These heliports operate on an irregular basis, but provide a niche service to the community. The functions of the heliports, while specialized, can be duplicated to some extent at the public-use airports. The airports within this rating can accommodate Category A (approach speeds under 91 knots) aircraft, and they are not part of any national or statewide airport plans. The remaining airports that rated "low" are privately owned, have limited-access facilities, and their landing and takeoff surfaces are generally composed of turf.

In terms of the health and safety assessment category, none of the public-use airports in Mobile County are identified. Mobile Regional contains both Air National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard facilities but Mobile Downtown, despite its past use as a military airfield, serves only civilian activities. Two of the heliports provide support to hospitals and three are operated by firms that provide support to the petroleum industry. The helipad at the Lemoore Industrial Park does not appear to support offshore activities specifically.



Mobile County is crossed by a wide range of pipelines serving local, regional, and national users and is made up of about 652 total miles of pipelines. Approximately 426 miles of pipelines are identified as being critical. Pipelines safely transport large quantities of often flammable materials underground across the U.S. The pipeline infrastructure within the study area consists of natural gas transmission lines, and hazardous liquid pipelines containing unrefined products such as crude oil and refined products such as gasoline. Offshore production wells in the Gulf of Mexico connect to a number of the pipelines along the Alabama Gulf Coast and storage facilities near the coast. Storage tanks are primarily the jurisdiction of the EPA and the state and are therefore not included in this analysis. Tanks which are typically part of the system include break-out tanks which are tanks used to hold line pack (a.k.a pipeline inventory) if sections of a pipeline are shut down temporarily. For liquids (water, oil, gasoline, etc.), it is simply the volume of liquid contained by a section of pipe of a defined length. A one-mile section of pipe (12.00 inches, ID) contains about 31,000 gallons of liquid. Natural gas and associated gas liquids (including propane, iso-butane and natural butane) are collected offshore and are processed by treatment/separation plants upon reaching shore. Once treated, the gas flows through the various pipelines to local utility distribution systems in the Mobile area. The gas and gas liquids also flow to other end-users in states outside Alabama. Natural gas pipelines are networked to allow flow to continue if offshore wells are "shut in" (closed off so that they are no longer producing natural gas).

This study assessed pipelines specifically, and not their related facilities. The analysis of pipelines has been limited to onshore pipelines for this analysis to facilitate discussion of potential impact in the same study area as other modes and to maintain a transportation, rather than production, focus. Onshore pipelines provide long-distance transport and distribution of oil and natural gas products and are operated primarily by pipeline companies, including Boardwalk Partners, Enterprise Products, Plains All American, Panhandle Energy, Sempra, Spectra Energy, Williams, and others. By contrast, offshore pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico serve more of a production function, operating principally to gather oil and gas from multiple locations in production fields to supply onshore distribution networks. Offshore production operations are typically run by major, integrated oil/energy companies, including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Shell, Total, Fina, Elf, and others. This contrast is mirrored at the regulatory level. Onshore pipelines are regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a part of the US DOT, while some offshore pipelines are regulated by both DOT and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), a Department of Interior (DOI) agency; most production/gathering lines are regulated by DOI.

Pipelines north and west of the Mobile area could supply natural gas to various consumers should local networks shut down for any reason. Crude oil is typically available by pipeline and from local storage depots to supply the local refinery in cases where production may be interrupted.


The 12 individual criteria used to assess the criticality of pipeline network assets included:

Health and Safety


The inventory of the pipeline network in the study area was focused on identifying the location and attribute information necessary to determine the pipelines that may be most critical. Pipelines are typically (greater than 95%) buried except in areas with connections to storage facilities, processing plants, pumping/compression facilities, intermodal facilities (truck, rail, ship, etc.), or are located in areas where underground obstructions or topographic features, such as streams, require the use of a pipeline bridge as a crossing. The capacity for field observation of pipelines is limited, except by major pipeline operators who periodically patrol pipeline rights-of-way and perform periodic in-line inspection as required by state and Federal regulatory authorities.

Typically, information on pipelines can be found in the offices of state regulatory agencies that provide legal descriptions, right of way information, and pipeline maps. For this study, data vendor Rextag Strategies was identified as a source for this information as a way to streamline the data collection effort. GIS data were obtained from Rextag that identified general pipeline locations, as well as the operations information presented in the analysis table. A scoring matrix for this data was developed to reflect attribute information contained in that data set on primary pipeline connections and products - with a hierarchy of natural gas, petroleum products (jet fuel, etc.), and crude oil. Safety concerns limit the display of business owner information for pipelines so a standard system of identifying companies was developed for display in this report.

The information contained in the data resource led to the development of a general level of importance to both the Mobile area and surrounding states based primarily on whether redundant systems and operations were in place to be able to meet supply needs of identified products. Pipelines are not typically associated with evacuation planning or disaster relief programs but some recognition of the supply of material to emergency facilities was included in the matrix.

Data on specifics of individual pipeline operations from Rextag were analyzed to determine criticality. This assessment was substantially limited by the lack of readily available operations data for pipeline operators nationally.

Pipeline networks provide products for a range of needs. A general hierarchy was developed for this analysis, which was based on how important products were for various uses. This hierarchy included below identifies pipeline network assets in order of importance from high to low:

The criteria and their scoring are denoted below:

Health and Safety


Approximately 426 miles of pipelines in Mobile County were identified as critical based on the criteria developed to assess this infrastructure. Most of the companies identified as critical operate pumping/compression facilities or refineries in the area that contribute to the national energy supply.

Figure 10 shows the major pipelines and associated facilities in the study area. Table 5 lists the various pipelines, pipeline sizes, contents (crude oil, natural gas, hydrocarbon liquids), USDOT regulatory jurisdiction, pipeline owner/operator[21], and degree of criticality (high, medium, and low). Most of these pipelines cross into other states. When offshore production is suspended, natural gas and gas liquids from inland facilities can be directed to the area in order to fuel equipment needed for recovery efforts.

Figure 10: Pipeline Facilities Map

Figure 10 is a map of the study area overlaid with the pipelines that cross Mobile. Critical pipelines are indicated in red, and non-critical pipelines are indicated in blue. The pipeline segments are concentrated in the upper half of the study area, although there are also pipelines running north and south on the western side of the study area, and a few segments running across the lower part of the study area.

Table 5: Pipeline Criticality Assessment

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
No. Owner/Oper. Socioeconomic - Local Supply Pipeline (Power Gen, Residential, Industry) Socioeconomic - Important Backup Supply after Major Disruption (Y = Yes / N = No) Socioeconomic - Local Sales Pipeline Socioeconomic - Functions as Community Connection (Y = Yes; N = No) Socioeconomic - System Redundancy (Y = Yes; N = No) Socioeconomic - Serves Regional Economic Centers (Y = Yes; N = No) Operations - Range of Pipeline Sizes (Nominal Pipe Size - Inches) Operations - DOT Classification/Pipeline Contents (49 CFR 192 = NG; 49 CFR 195 = L and/or CO) Operations - Operates Local Pumping and/or Compression Facilities (Y = Yes; N = No) Operations - Operates Local Oil Refinery (CO); Gas Processing (NG); Storage (S); Terminals (T) Health & Safety - Chem Facility Anti-Terrorism Stds (CFATs) Compliant (Y = Likely; N = No) Health & Safety - Provides Fuel to Operate Health/Emergency Facilities Criticality Score: H = High; M = Medium; L = Low
1Company A1Y3YYY12-20NGYNG H
2Company B3 1N L NL
3Company C1Y3YYY16-36NG H
4Company D3 1YNN L M
5Company E3N2NNN L T NL
6Company F2N2NNY CONN NL
7Company G1N2NYY12-42NGYNG H
8Company H1Y2NNY COYT M
9Company I1Y3Y Y10-42NG H
11Company K2Y0 16-36NGYN NH
12Company L1Y3 Y NGNN H
13Company M3N1YYY LYT NM


The evaluation of criticality for highway, transit, rail, port, airport, and pipeline modes in the Mobile study area relied on assessing each mode against socioeconomic, operational, and health and safety criteria. This analysis, conducted independently for each mode and often through application of professional judgment due to lack of available data, led to varying findings on the criticality of modal components and their contributions to the local and regional economy and community. In this study area the various modes often operate symbiotically due to Mobile's position as an important energy-producing area and manufacturing center with multiple transfer points among various modes. Recognition of the interactions of these modes will need to be maintained as the project progresses into later assessment stages.

The findings in the preceding pages present the process that the project team used to evaluate criticality by mode and provides a framework for an objective "desk review" that could be used to narrow the universe of transportation assets in a area for the purpose of focusing further vulnerability assessments on the assets of greatest importance. The tool applied for this assessment was flexible and could be weighted to reflect a range of perspectives as to how infrastructure is assessed. Ratings for each mode based on the review conducted for this study are summarized in Table 6.

The assessment process was also designed to gather input as a final step in listing critical assets and input provided by project stakeholders added a stronger local perspective to the assessment process. This local input was critical in identifying assets that had cultural significance that did not surface from the assessment.

Subsequent tasks in this project will utilize the results of this task in further refining the asset types that will be subject to more detailed analysis. This task was an important screening process for establishing boundaries on what components of Mobile's transportation network was considered to be important for the follow-on analysis.

Table 6: Summary of Criticality Assessment by Mode

Use arrow keys to scroll table left and right.
Mode Key Stats Critical Facilities

Total miles: 644

Total bridges: 630

Total critical miles: 152

Total critical bridges: 71

a. I-10

b. I-165

c. I-65

d. US 43/SR 13

e. US 45/SR 17

f. US 90/SR 16

g. US 98/SR 42

h. SR 163

i. SR 193

j. CR 56

k. South University Boulevard

l. Telegraph Road


Total facilities: 2

Total fleet: 75 (includes 71 buses and vans and four maintenance vehicles)

Total critical elements: 3 (including fleet)

a. Facilities

i. Beltline O&M facility

ii. GM&O Terminal

b. Fleet

i. Bus and demand-response vehicles


Total facilities: 14 across five RRs

Total critical facilities: 7

Total rail miles: 590

Total critical rail miles: 347

a. CSX Transportation (CSXT)

i. M&M Subdivision (Mont. to Mobile)

ii. Sibert Yard MP 665.2 - 668.3

iii. NO&M Subdivision

b. Norfolk Southern (NS)

c. Terminal Railroad Alabama State Docks (TASD)

iv. Main Docks Complex

v. McDuffie Terminal

vi. TASD Interchange Yard


Total Ports: 61

Total Critical Ports: 23

a. Crescent Towing & Salvage Co., River A Wharf

b. Alabama Bulk Terminal Co.

c. Mobile Container Terminal

d. Mobile Cruise Terminal

e. TransMontaigne Product Services

f. Atlantic Marine

g. BP Oil Co., Mobile Terminal Barge Wharf

h. Gulf Atlantic Oil

i. Plains Marketing

j. Gulf Coast Asphalt Co., Mobile Terminal Wharf

k. Kimberly-Clark Corp., Mobile River

l. Oil Recovery Co. of Alabama, Mobile Terminal Pier

m. Shell Chemical Co.

n. U.S. Coast Guard Pier

o. Austal

p. Alabama State Port Authority

q. Environmental Treatment Team Wharf

r. Evonik Industries

s. Holcim Cement Wharf

t. Martin Marietta Aggregates

u. Standard Concrete Products

v. Gulf Oil Refining, North Term.

w. Bayou La Batre Docks


Total airports: 17

Total critical airports: 2

a. Mobile Regional

b. Mobile Downtown


Total miles: 652

Total critical miles: 426

a. Company A

b. Company C

c. Company G

d. Company I

e. Company J

f. Company K

g. Company L

Updated: 11/17/2016
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Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000