Geo-Asset & Geohazard Risk Management
Making risk-informed decisions & acting upon them
BGC provides services that help transportation network owners understand risks to safety, financial, and broader economic performance measures, whether from geohazards or deteriorating constructed geotechnical assets. Our solutions help manage complex data and information geospatially and lead to decision support and risk analysis tools that enable quick and efficient decision-making. In support of owner-specific needs, BGC can adapt or develop new monitoring and data-science programs to support critical geohazard risk management plans.
The geohazards that impact transportation networks include floods, earthquakes, landslides, rock fall, and debris flows, as well as swelling and collapsing soils, sink holes, and other natural hazards, directly or indirectly. Geohazards typically have a climate-related frequency/magnitude relationship where smaller magnitude events occur more frequently, and larger ones are rarer. The risk from geohazards arises from events across this spectrum.
Geotechnical assets, or geo-assets, include cut slopes in soil and rock, embankments, and retaining walls. Geotechnical assets can be preserved with properly-timed treatment actions taken across the service life, resulting in lifecycle cost savings and lower risk exposure to system users. The owner and user risk exposure from geo-assets arises from a misalignment between planned and actual performance, or escalating ownership costs due to deterioration, similar to other built assets.
The risk exposure is measured for several performance objectives and BGC routinely considers user safety threats, direct costs to the owner, and user or community economic costs. The risk assessment framework implemented by BGC uses the formal formulation of risk that intersects the likelihood of an event, the vulnerability of the element at risk, and the consequence of impact. This framework can be applied in qualitative and quantitative use cases, taking advantage of data where available and using structured approaches to elicit expert opinions where gaps are present.
Transportation corridors and networks can cover large regions and be exposed to different environments and hazards, so understanding the spatial distribution of risk exposure is important. To enable agency staff to understand the distribution of hazards and risk in context with all assets and data, BGC uses our Cambio software platform to provide our transportation clients with a valuable tool that goes beyond what an off-the-shelf GIS software can do. As evidence of the value, the implementation of Cambio for pipeline infrastructure systems has contributed to a reduction in the number of geohazard failures by a factor of between 3 and 5 and BGC is working with multiple highway agencies to implement similar capabilities for highway clients.