FHWA Transportation Engineering Approaches to Climate Resiliency (TEACR) Study

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Transportation Engineering Approaches to Climate Resiliency (TEACR) study is designed to help identify best engineering practices for evaluating project-specific vulnerabilities to climate change impacts and extreme weather events, and for developing adaptation solutions to address those vulnerabilities. The study helps to address the challenges that engineers face in translating climate science into project-level design specifications, by developing solutions and methodologies that engineers across the country can apply when planning and designing projects in different project contexts.

The TEACR study involves four key steps:

  1. An assessment of key gaps in the integration of climate change considerations into transportation engineering, which was completed in September 2014 and recommended particular gaps to address through the additional steps in the TEACR study.
  2. Engineering assessment case studies of diverse types of transportation assets in different geographic areas. These case studies each included vulnerability assessments at the facility-level, identification of potential adaptation options to address vulnerabilities, and engineering and economic analyses of the adaptation options to help identify the most feasible approaches. Each engineering assessment case study utilized an 11-step process, which has been refined into a proposed Adaptation Decision-Making Assessment Process (finalized September 2016). The individual engineering assessments focused on:
    • Impacts of sea-level rise, overwash, and storm surge on different coastal transportation assets (a bridge in Mobile Bay, Alabama; a roadway in Florida; and a living shoreline along a coastal road in New York),
    • Impacts of temperature and precipitation on geotech and pavement assets (pavement in cold regions of Maine; pavements on expansive soils in Texas; and rock and soil slopes in Virginia), and
    • A comparison of economic analysis methodologies, looking at existing design alternatives for a specific bridge in Maine.
  3. A synthesis report of recommendations for engineers to improve resiliency at project- and system-scales; and
  4. A new module for FHWA's Vulnerability Assessment Framework to assist agencies in identifying vulnerabilities at the project-level and developing engineering solutions to improve resilience.

The gap analysis and engineering assessments have been completed, and FHWA is in the process of developing the recommendations and new module to support engineering decision-making.

 

If you have any trouble accessing the website link above, please find here an archived page. You may find this has limited use. https://web.archive.org/web/20170125192413/https:/www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sustainability/resilience/ongoing_and_current_research/teacr/index.cfm.

 

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