Hampton Roads Military Transportation Needs Study: Roadways Serving the Military and Sea Level Rise/Storm Surge

This report is intended to address sea level rise and storm surge flooding related threats to military transportation infrastructure and readiness. It was prepared by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTO) at the request of military officials, who expressed concerns in 2009 that delays at the region’s bridges and tunnels were negatively impacting their ability to carry out their missions. To address these concerns and better understand the scope of the problem, the study includes three phases; (1) a highway network analysis, (2) a survey of military commuters, and (3) an analysis of roadways serving the military and sea level rise/storm surge.

This report summarizes the results of each of those phases and makes recommendations related to regional planning to address vulnerabilities.

The highway network analysis addresses the unique threat that sea level rise and land subsidence pose to Hampton Roads. The Department of Defense’s Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET), which identifies roadways necessary to support day-to-day movement of military cargo, is explained in this section which concludes with recommended updates to STRAHNET’s criteria to address current and future needs.

Almost 11,000 commuters responded to the military commuters survey. Individuals working at 29 of the region’s military-related employment sites were the target population for the survey, along with people who commute to 9 supporting sites (including airports and port terminals).

Using GIS and best available sea level rise predictions, low and intermediate sea level rise was mapped. To better understand associated risks, STRAHNET roadways, military sites, and roadways identified as important based on the commuter survey were overlaid on regional maps. This information, along with data from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science about road closures and recurrent flooding, provides planners and decision-makers a more complete picture of transportation related threats to the military’s readiness.

The report also includes a “Previous Studies and Related Work” section which offers brief summaries of additional resources focused on either the Hampton Roads region or adaptation efforts for coastal military installations. The report concludes with recommendations, many of which are related to incorporating information from the survey in planning to prioritize improvements based off of military needs.


Publication Date: July 2013

Related Organizations:

  • Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Case study

States Affected:


Go To Resource