Security in Project Planning Webinar - Busting a Few Myths

Spencer Stevens (FHWA): My name is Spencer Stevens with the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Planning, and I will be serving as your moderator for todayís webinar. I just wanted to be sure that you have the information; you are joining us now for the Security in Project Planning Webinar - Busting a Few Myths. But before we get started with that, I am pleased to introduce the Director of the FHWA Office of Planning, Jim Cheatham. Jim, go ahead.

Jim Cheatham: Thank you, Spencer and thank you all for joining us today. This webinar will bust the myths about the costs associated with considering security in planning. We have another webinar by the way, tomorrow called Advanced Travel Modeling at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. We will discuss MTCís experience in applying activity based models to planning. Please visit FHWAís website for more information. The April edition of the Planning newsletter is also available now on the planning website, so we ask you to take a look at that. FHWA, FTA, and The National Transit Institute are working to update many courses listing to ensure they reflect the changes of MAP-21. Some are easier to update than others, so hopefully we will have that completed in a year or so. With that I would like to turn it back over to our moderator Spencer. We appreciate any feedback or comments you may have.

Spencer Stevens: This webinar is going to be a brief presentation of products that are available and will assist with the implementation of security counter measures through the Project Planning and Development Process. We are going to have a quick presentation, and then spend a lot of time on the Q & A portion. Again my name is Spencer Stevens and I will be your moderator. We have to representatives from the Federal Highway Admin., Dan Ferezan who is the Program Manager for Transportation Security and Steve Ernst, Senior Engineer for Safety and Security.

The past two transportation legislations, SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21 have all been called to consider security in the Planning Process. It has to be separate and distinct from the traditional definition of safety as we know in the planning process. So again, the purpose of todayís webinar is to provide the information about planning for security in transportation infrastructure projects and to bust a few of the myths along the way. By the end of the webinar you will be able to understand when to include security in the planning process, learn about resources that are available to assist you, and learn how you can expand the planning community. Now, I will turn the webinar over to Dan Ferezan to begin busting a few myths.

Dan Ferezan: Thank you, Spencer. I would like to go back to the slide that says "why are we here?" To clarify that, over the past several years we realize that maybe more responsible people should be involved in the process of planning. We say there is need for security, so today we will figure out how to go about it.
I am going to talk about the myths, we included myth busting in the presentation title because whenever we talk about planning these are some of the comments/ myths that we hear:

  1. Specialists plan for security- well, donít know who they are, but we will tell you whether thatís true or not.
  2. There is no money for security
  3. No one talks about planning
  4. Nothing can be done

Thatís an indication that maybe the wrong people are in the room at these meetings. So what we are going to talk about from here on out are how we can put those myths to rest. Our goal is to eliminate these myths from any planning discussions. First, some background; why is it important to include security in the planning process? We know that terrorists, both international and home grown, have identified transportation infrastructures as targets. Fortunately, highway infrastructure has not been attacked, but planned attacks had been scuttled in New York, Ohio & other places. Highway infrastructure is critical to our economy and the ability to move freely.

Highway infrastructure is key to that movement. Every movement of goods, people, or service providers at some point involves using highway Infrastructure. Blowing up a set of highway is not as flashy as blowing up a bridge or a building, so bridges and tunnels are most likely targets. Although this slide is titled background, this is one of the slides debunk the myths about security specialist view planning. Security planning requires a team effort, working with non-traditional partners, early and throughout the planning process. Many of the non-traditional partners are listed; one I can think of off the top of my head is DOD (Department of Defense). These partners are the ones that specify the requirements that we should use in planning and designing projects. They describe what they need in order to do their job when it comes to a security issue of a particular structure. When you think about this business of including them in the process; itís easy to invite someone to a meeting and say "this is what they told us/ didnít tell us", and proceed without them. Sometimes these folks are not as tuned in the beginning as they might be later on. So what we would like to be able to do Is include them in every meeting throughout the process as far as requirements, design, and future planning. Something to keep in mind about that last bullet about "addresses requirements and saves time and money"; what we know about funding is that it is easier to protect something that has not been built, than to add protection as itís being built. Thatís similar to building a bridge between two communities and not building sidewalks on that bridge, then coming after construction is completed saying " oops, now we have to put sidewalks in." Which of those two is less expensive in both time and money? Adjacent to building sidewalks before completing the bridge, is adding safety before the project begins. The requirements that these non-traditional partners bring and that Steve Ernst is going to discuss in a minute are going to be less costly to design in, than to add on. Some documents those are available to assist you on starting these discussions with nontraditional partners and then clarifying requirements. Steve Ernst, Michelle Noch, and Spencer collaborated on this document considering Security and Emergency Management in the Planning of Transportation Projects. Funding came from a pooled fund which nine states, TSA, and FHWA contributed and contributing states each asked for this document. Itís a document aided to help with the development of a team, which nontraditional partners to contact, where they are located and the kinds of discussions you may want to have with them. There some useful tactics as to planning and carrying out meetings. I suggest that you print one, look it over, and use it to improve your planning team. The next document was created by the National Cooperative Highway Research Panel, again at the request of state members of AASHTO. This document applies a use of methodology when applying counter measures against various threats to reduce risks and also costs in doing that. It includes an interactive spreadsheet called CAPTool that can be used best to determine counter measures, costs, and allows for the conduct of "what if drills" ; if I have this amount of money, what can I best due to lower risks by this much? What is it going to cost me? The next document is one that was produced here at FHWA, and it is a user guide for the interactive CAPTool, and it assists you on how to use CAPTool from beginning to end to derive whatever solutions you are looking for. These three documents and the spread sheet provide a lot of information about how you can apply counter measures and what they would cost to existing and planned structures. Next we will talk a little about training, the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), created by the FEMA National Management Institute. It is an online course and it provides background on the NIPP. The NIPP describes transportation systems as a critical national infrastructure. The course and the plan itself provide methodologies for determining what critical infrastructures be versus non- critical and, methodologies for continuing to do that analysis. Next, is a FHWA course developed by Steve Ernst and using an army corps engineer methodology. Courses are offered on line and self-paced. The self-paced version was created from that same pooled fund we talked about earlier, at the request of the donor states. All state training officers were provided a CD with this course on it a couple of years ago. We decided to make it into a CD to control access to the courses available in state training offices. The course focuses on managing risks by applying certain counter measures to bridges and tunnels; contact Steve Ernst for more information about that. One last thing, the CD is available upon request, subject to funding and who is asking- that kind of thing. Finally, we have Blast Design and Analysis for Bridge Structures Workshop. It was also developed here at Federal Highways. It is available on request with the same caveat. Before I turn this over to Steve, I would like to let you all know that it was my intent for you all to learn that security planning requires a team, which includes non-traditional partners throughout the planning and development process that tools are available to help you work with these non-traditional partners and to estimate cost and risks, and to know that training is available. Now, I will turn this over to Steve Ernst who will be busting the no money myth.

Steve Ernst: Thank you, Dan for that spot on introduction; I appreciate that. Dan is right, I am going to try and bust some holes in a few of these myths. The first one is that there is no money available. I just want to point out that MAP-21 has this embedded in several different sections. The very definition Transportation Systems Management includes security as a separate item. Section 119 National Highway Performance Program allows you to use that money. And thatís for construction of new bridges or tunnels and replacement and rehabilitation. Section 1108 Surface Transportation Program, again itís eligible there. MAP- 21 is pretty clear that money is available and you can use it. Most important for this group, is the Metropolitan Transportation Planning gives you the charge to increase the security of the transportation security system for motorized and non-motorized users. Clearly, the law intends for us to include security. There is money available, maybe there is not always enough money, we all know that. But surely you can use funds when necessary. So thatís the first myth I wanted to talk about. The second myth is that there is nothing that can really be done. This is my area of expertise and what I have been working on since 9/11. The first Iíll ask is that you plan for access control. If you look at this picture, which I believe is from Bosnia, this is the result of a military weapon that was timed to go off just a few milliseconds after the bomb entered this boxed girder. But the truth is it takes a very small amount of explosives inside a structure to destroy it. Some of our structures can be destroyed if we allow people to get inside. I would like to demonstrate just how effective explosives are if you allow someone to get on target and get access to critical components. What you are looking at here is a 5 ft. diameter round concrete column. Tests were conducted to see how much explosives it would take to breach the column. So if you allow someone access and they are able to drill into the middle of it and place explosives inside, it only takes a few pounds of explosives to break the column. However, if you donít give them time, if you have forced protection and cameras etc., but they take the explosives and place the next to the column it takes a little bit more. So here we are talking about a few hundred pounds. So my question to everyone in the audience is if we put bollards around this column or by any means keep people from getting any closer than six feet, how many pounds of explosives do you think it would take to breach this column? We have a poll question and I am going to let you answer that before I show you the answer. Several hundred pounds, a little over a thousand pounds or several thousand pounds? The bulk of you though it was a little over a thousand pounds, and Iíll just tell you the answer is over several thousand pounds. I always say "if you give me six feet, I will give you the world." Often if you donít set the footprint in the planning stages, itís very difficult to achieve this. Youíve already sold the parking rights, or you just donít have the platform to get the six feet. Keep people away from your structures, donít let them inside them.

A little bit more about planning for stand-off. This is a picture of a major international crossing and that column beyond that yellow wooden barrier, if that column fails then the entire bridge fails and a major international crossing would be out of service for a long time. This is a big bridge and would take a long time to replace. A simple solution would be to put a berm in front of this. There are better measures for keeping people away from that column. You can see that all of our security options are not that expensive. Letís always plan first for standoff and keeping people away from out structures. Lock doors, lock hatches and be prepared for standoff. Another thing that we like to do is put up cameras, sensors and other sorts of things so that we know when someone comes there and we can send an effective response. The last bullet I have about the linked surveillance devices and sensors directly to response force is very important. It does no good to a bridge to discover that it has been blown up, except maybe to prosecute the criminals but you have to have any surveillance linked to the response force. I am a huge advocate of television linked to what I call "intelligent video." This technology actually came out of the traffic management side of the house. It has been used in Europe since the 90ís and is not only used in traffic management, but to monitor detection particularly in tunnels. It requires that you have a concept of operations so you can have an effective response. We are going to show a video now to show how effective this can be. What I was going to show you was a very grainy video; it came from Europe by a company called Citylog. The driver of a station wagon pulls into a tunnel and stops in the middle of the tunnel, gets out of the car, goes to the back of the station wagon, opens up the hatch, and closes it down. Now, he is right in the middle of traffic, didnít bother to get on the shoulder- there is not much of a shoulder. He gets back in his car and drives away. Now, the video analytics are able to detect that this man has stopped and they alarm the person arming the camera. So, if he has 50 cameras, he doesnít have to be watching all 50, it will alarm him. An arrow will mark the sensor, so they can go back and look at the scene. In this case nothing happened, but suppose he would have pulled out an explosive device and put it in or on the wall of the tunnel- itís an underwater tunnel and driven off. Well now the operator could either send a response force to the scene or at least at minimum stop traffic from entering the tunnel. Video with analytics is my first choice, there are something like 300 of these in the Boston tunnels. Very effective at their security desk. What else is it that we can do? We can do things on the design side and I am going to give you one example. Redundancy equals resilience. We have a lot of bridges for which if you destroy one component of that bridge, the entire bridge will fail. Here is an example of just such a bridge. Iím not sure if you are familiar with this, but I have circled the section of the bridge and gave a close up to the left, but if you destroy that the hangar part of the bridge the center section will fall out and what is worse is that this will initiate a progressive failure for the entire length of the bridge. In Iraq, there was a bridge similar to this that was destroyed in the Second Gulf War by a truck bomb; terrorists knew exactly where to park the truck. You might think this is a remote possibility, truck bomb or a cutting charge. But I want to refer everybody to an incident last week in Washington. A bridge, not exactly like this, but with similar characteristics was struck by a wide vehicle and knocked out a member like this and the bridge failed. So, this is the kind of thing we need for designers to avoid. Put this in the planning phase. If security is a part of your planning phase then you will be forced to eliminate these single points of failure. When we talk about security mitigation, we talk about cameras and access control and providing standoff. Sometimes those things just arenít effective. We would like to get into the issue of hardening components. We talk about this as a last resort because it can be very expensive. This is one of the best example I have; a situation that occurs all over the country. We have this critical component, in this case that tower, which any threat can get up to as close as three feet. We saw this as one of our intractable problems, so we began studying it early on after 9/11. What you are seeing here is one of our experiments on this problem. If you look to the left of this screen you see something that looks like a fireball or light bulb. This is an incipient explosion; the explosive material is contained on a pedestal right in front of that orange object. Now, the orange object represents the tower. Now that orange tower is a scale model of a steel cellular tower on a suspension bridge. What you are seeing to the right of that- you see a dark object, which is the tower. The orange thing, which is a new part of the tower, the new mitigation strategy that we put together, and then behind that you see kind of a grey block of concrete is very simply a reaction frame. We test various mitigation strategies on that tower. I have always thought that we should construct our bridges out of reaction frames, but there is never enough money to build them quite that strong. Now what you are looking at is the incipient explosion. This is a few milliseconds after the explosion went off and you can see the entire tower and reaction frame is engulfed in flames and very quickly radiates in all directions. This is really more than anyone had ever studies on bridges before this program begun. You are looking at the mitigation strategy and behind it you will see that that tower is completely destroyed. That represents total failure. This is an unmitigated unhardened structure. This is what would happen if a reasonably sized truck bomb were to go off. Now we apply our mitigation strategy on the right in a specified way, but there is still sustainable damage. So the myth I am trying to bust is that you canít do anything. There are several things you can do and they are not all really, really expensive.

Now I would like to talk about what we do in planning meetings. We have done some of this; we had cooperation from New York, California, Iowa, Washington, DC and Kentucky to incorporate security strategies like I have shown you. And I will explain how we did this at one facility at the Port of Long Beach. I was originally contacted by the port owner and you have to remember this port handles an enormous piece of US economy. If it loses function we lose jobs, we lose millions and millions of dollars probably every day. They asked us to come and take a look at this new design and see what we could do with it from a security point of view. We were asked to do this in 2007. We went with a team of Federal Highways Engineers and went with a component level risk assessment and this is of course, the workshop that Dan discussed earlier. We do a quantitative measure of risks and we give it to the owners to tell them you can reduce risks. If they cost a lot, small risk reduction might not be worth it. But if they get a lot of risk reduction then they might be worth it. But If they donít cost a lot and you get a lot of benefit then itís going to be really worthwhile to do. So we give them a list of projects and we give them a report, which I wrote. That wasnít the end of the story, the idea was to give this base information, we did this in three days, to a consultant who is the designer and this consultant wrote his own report and give it to the owner. The owner decided to go with a design- build process for this structure. So, the truth is that the final design is not even completed. We are now six years later and they are into the design build process. Now what they did was use the original report from FHWA to set the design build criteria. What you can do is, from our research, the size of bomb you would like for your structure to resist. Just this spring we had a final design workshop, where the owner learned my methodology, he knows it as well as I know it now. Itís an international company and they used our process to get a quality design. There certainly isnít just one way to plan for security.

[Event concluded]