Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report (NCHRP Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2)

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report provides guidance on adaptation strategies to the likely impacts of climate change through 2050 in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the United States (and through 2100 for sea-level rise). The report is a comprehensive look at the potential effects of climate change on the highway system and suggestions on how to account for them throughout the transportation decision-making process.

The report has two parts: a Practitioner's Guide and a Research Report. The Practitioner's Guide introduces a framework for adaptation planning and it includes chapters on climate projections, climate impacts, vulnerability assessments and risk appraisals, climate change in project development, and climate change in other agency functions such as construction, operations, and asset management. It also has appendices with sea-level rise projections and a benefit-cost methodology for adaptation strategies.

The companion research report presents the results of a study looking at climate impacts and potential solutions for the U.S. highway system in the year 2050.

The project examined adaptation to climate change on three scales of application - road segment, corridor, and network - including the types of impacts likely to be faced in coming years and the different design, operations, and maintenance strategies that can be considered.

In addition to the practitioner’s guide and research report, this project also developed:

  • A software tool that runs in common web browsers and provides specific, region-based information on incorporating climate change adaptation into the planning and design of bridges, culverts, stormwater infrastructure, slopes, walls, and pavements.
  • Tables that provide the same information as the previously mentioned software tool, but in a spreadsheet format that can be printed.
  • Two spreadsheets that illustrate examples of the benefit-cost analysis of adaptation strategies discussed in Appendix B of Part I of NCHRP Report 750, Volume 2.

These three items are available on a CD-ROM that is included with a print version of the report. The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image.


The research for this resource was conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff (Washington, D.C.) in association with Cambridge Systematics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Stratus Consulting (Boulder, Colorado).



Publication Date: August 2014

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Chris Dorney
  • Michael Flood
  • Robert Hyman
  • Jake Keller
  • Ken Leonard
  • Justin Lennon
  • Gary McVoy
  • Michael Meyer
  • Joel B. Smith

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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