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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
01/01/2013 - 10/31/2013
Principal Investigators
Project Status

Super Storm Sandy made landfall in southern New Jersey, near Atlantic City, on 29 October 2012, devastating the coastline of New York and New Jersey. The unique path taken by Sandy placed the communities and infrastructure of the Port of New York and New Jersey directly in the path of the most damaging part of the storm. Ports are critical element in the global supply chain and any disruption in that transportation system can have significant impacts on the U.S. economy. In fact, many of the port’s facilities were destroyed, and the entire port was closed for a week costing billions of dollars and impacting everything from the availability of fuel for cars and homes to retailer’s preparations for Black Friday, post-Thanksgiving. The storm was anticipated for many days. How did this vast destruction occur and what can be done to make the port and its supportive intermodal infrastructure more resilient prior to another major storm?

Lessons learned by the public and private stakeholders in the port and associated supply chain transportation services could assist in more quickly returning the port to full service following future disruptions. This project will review the existing design codes and identify through structured stakeholder interviews the circumstances that led to the port’s storm related impacts and subsequent closure for a week. Lessons learned from the agency and industry stakeholders involved will be identified, mitigation activities undertaken will be described, vulnerabilities and resiliency gaps sought and described, and a tabulation of these findings and recommended approaches to mitigate these problems will be made (i.e., guidelines that may include suggested additions to building codes). The overriding goal is to make the New York and New Jersey port facilities and associated supply chain transportation operations more resilient in the future.