FHWA Climate Change Adaptation Federal Aid Program

In September 2012, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a memorandum clarifying when transportation agencies may use federal aid highway dollars to help adapt transportation infrastructure to extreme weather and a changing climate under the Federal-aid and Federal Lands programs. The memo provides some examples of eligible uses of the funds which consider the potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and apply adaptation strategies. No new funding is actually being added to address adaptation needs.

Activities to plan, design and construct highways to adapt to current and future climate change and extreme weather events are eligible for reimbursement under the Federal-aid program and for funding under the Federal Lands program. In general, division offices and Federal Lands Highway Offices may allow State DOTs, metropolitan planning organizations, local agencies, and Federal land management agencies to use Federal-aid and the Federal Lands highway funds to consider the potential impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and apply adaptation strategies, both at the project and systems levels. These adaptation activities can be applied to existing and planned projects to protect and extend the useful life of Federal highway investments and conserve funding resources.

Activities supported with Federal-aid funds must focus on the preservation of transportation infrastructure, and not on general flood control and protection or similar activities that are not focused on eligible transportation projects. Consideration of extreme weather events, their impacts on highways and transportation systems, and development of adaptation strategies need to be based on the current understanding of weather patterns affecting the location of a project or region, as well as projected changes in climate.


In order to maintain access to this website, we are linking to an archived version of the website saved on February 17, 2016. The original link can be found here: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federalaid/120924.cfm.

Publication Date: September 24, 2012

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