Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: The Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2 (Mobile, Alabama)

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting conducted a comprehensive, multi-phase study of climate change impacts on transportation in the Central Gulf Coast region. This report, led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), represents the completion of the second phase of research on climate change impacts in the region. The Gulf Coast study initially looked at the potential impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure in the region under a Phase 1 effort that was completed in 2008.  The Phase 2 study aimed to understand potential impacts on specific critical infrastructure in the area and to evaluate adaptation options.

This report of Phase 2 - Task 6 summarizes the project highlights, methodologies, and tools developed through the course of the Gulf Coast Study, Phase 2. The overall Phase 2 project included five tasks (in addition to development of the summary report):

  1. Evaluate Criticality
  2. Gather and Process Climate Information
  3. Assess Vulnerability
  4. Develop Tools and Resources
  5. Coordinate with Planning Authorities and the Public.

The summary report also includes information designed to help other transportation agencies apply similar methodologies and conduct vulnerability assessments in their own regions; and it discusses areas for future work.

The project included a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, planners, policy analysts, and climate experts, and involved multiple meetings with local transportation stakeholders to research, screen, and identify critical transportation assets . Field data collection was combined with GIS assessments, evaluation of the Mobile Area Transportation Study (MATS) regional travel demand model, and desk reviews of federal, state, and industry reports. The study is funded under the USDOT Surface Transportation Environment and Planning cooperative research program, the USDOT's Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting, and other USDOT offices, with FHWA managing the study for USDOT with assistance from the DOT Climate Center and individual modal administrations. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has provided support for much of the climate science work.

 

Publication Date: October 2014

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