Designing a road network for hazardous materials shipments
We consider the problem of designating hazardous materials routes in and through a major population center. Initially, we restrict our attention to a minimally connected network (a tree) where we can predict accurately the flows on the network. We formulate the tree design problem as an integer programming problem with an objective of minimizing the total transport risk. Such design problems of moderate size can be solved using commercial solvers. We then develop a simple construction heuristic to expand the solution of the tree design problem by adding road segments. Such additions provide carriers with routing choices, which usually increase risks but reduce costs. The heuristic adds paths incrementally, which allows local authorities to trade off risk and cost. We use the road network of the city of Ravenna, Italy, to demonstrate the solution of our integer programming model and our path-addition heuristic.