Albania invests in a climate-resilient road network

Published: 23 April 2018

On behalf of the World Bank, Deltares is to help Albania make its road network more climate-resilient. In recent years, Albania has invested heavily in bridges, tunnels, motorways and railways. More and more severe rainfall, landslides and floods caused by climate change could destroy some of the resulting infrastructure. Deltares will be working with local stakeholders on developing an investment strategy to make the main road network and the engineering structures such as tunnels and bridges resilient.

The Albanian national road network covers a distance of 3,700 km and it can be broken down into the primary network (32%), the secondary network (56%) and newly planned roads (12%). Albania is one of the world’s top-ten countries with the highest economic risks owing to the combination of a range of possible disasters. The country is exposed to hydro-meteorological hazards such as flooding, drought, heavy snowfall and extreme temperatures, and to geological hazards such as earthquakes and landslides.

In collaboration with SEED Consulting, an Albanian company, and a range of government authorities, we will be mapping out the climate and seismic vulnerabilities of the main road network. We will then propose the appropriate measures to make the roads more climate-resilient and seismically robust. These measures can be taken during the design and construction of new roads but also during maintenance work on existing roads. Mike Woning, a geotechnical expert at Deltares: ‘We help the government to prioritise investments in the road network on the basis of climate and seismic risks. That involves looking not only at the roads themselves but also at bridges, tunnels, viaducts and drainage systems. ‘The project includes modelling the risks of landslides and flooding, and conducting an earthquake vulnerability analysis. We will also make cost-benefit analyses and determine the scope for policy by setting out adaptation pathways.