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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-020
Date: August 2003
Since September 11, 2001, considerable Federal, State, and local resources have been devoted to ensuring the safety and security of the Nation's transportation system. A new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Operations Security Web site (www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/OpsSecurity/) was recently launched to provide agencies with streamlined access to information on improving surface transportation security.
"The need to ensure the security of America's surface transportation system is a top priority for the FHWA," said FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters. "We are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and other Federal agencies to help State and local officials develop and carry out a comprehensive set of improvements to increase the security of our transportation network."
Topics covered on the Web site include emergency planning, aligning action plans with the Nation's Homeland Security Advisory System, and improving military mobilization on roadways. "A lot of material has been generated on such security topics over the past 2 years, but getting that information to State and local practitioners has always been a challenge," says Vince Pearce, acting director of FHWA's Office of Transportation Operations. The Web site is designed to gather all this information in one accessible place to help State and local transportation agencies make more informed decisions about improving the security of roadways in their areas. An added benefit is that many of the strategies covered should also help agencies cope better with natural disasters, which place similar demands on roadways. Case studies cover the transportation components of the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake; a 2001 rail tunnel fire in Baltimore, Maryland; and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The site also contains an activity list that State officials can use to develop or refine their action plans for responding to different Homeland Security alert levels, as well as information on how to secure transportation-related information technology resources during an emergency. The site links to relevant information from all of the administrations within the Department of Transportation (DOT), other Federal agencies, and such partners as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Transportation Research Board, American Public Works Association, and National Association of County Engineers.
Pearce envisions the site as a doorway through which State and local employees can gain access to other parties with similar interests and goals. "Someone in a State DOT may not be aware of what the Federal DOT's other modal administrations are doing," Pearce says, yet those other sources may have useful information to share. Protecting bridges and tunnels, for example, concerns not just FHWA, but also DOT's railroad and public transit administrations. "Ultimately we hope the Web site will help build partnerships among all those involved in protecting and maintaining our transportation infrastructure," says Pearce.
Pearce plans to add documents and links to the site as he learns of them. "I'll add anything that transportation highway operators would find useful," he notes.
For more information on the Operations Security Web site, contact Vince Pearce at 202-366-1548 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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