Civil and Environmental Engineering


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Lee, Myungwoo. GIS-Based Route Risk Assessment of Hazardous Material Transport: Master's Thesis. University of Nebraska Lincoln, Department of Civil Engineering, 2014.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Civil Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Aemal Khattak. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Myungwoo Lee


The transportation of hazardous materials keeps increasing across the United States due to the growing consumption of goods and rising need for manufactured materials. Furthermore, concerns are mounting over the safe surface transportation of hazardous materials. Highways and rails are the most common modes of transport for hazardous materials, although the risk posed from highway transport of hazardous materials may be higher due to the fact that highways are public while rails are mostly private. The majority of hazardous material cargo is carried on the highway network by trucks. Due to possible adverse effects on human and animal populations in the event of an accident involving hazardous materials, there is a need for the development of a highway route risk assessment tool that precisely represents transportation risks associated with hazardous cargos and to build a framework for designating a set of risky routes based on different factors. The research presented in this thesis explains a methodology to analyze the spatial patterns of truck accident data, discern potentially risky routes of truck traffic carrying hazardous materials, and estimate the impact area of an identified risky route by quantifying the human population affected in that area. Lancaster County in Nebraska was used as the study area and the hazardous material exposure from a theoretical truck-involved accident was estimated. It was concluded that the developed procedures successfully identified vulnerable areas in terms of hazardous material transport and estimated the affected areas and human population.

Adviser: Aemal Khattak