Washington State DOT Climate Impacts Vulnerability Assessment

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has written this report in fulfillment of a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to test its conceptual climate risk assessment model developed for transportation infrastructure. WSDOT applied the model using scenario planning in a series of statewide workshops, using local experts, to create a qualitative assessment of climate vulnerability on its assets in each region and mode of transportation across Washington. This report conveys WSDOT’s feedback on the conceptual model and the lessons learned while applying the model to their assets.

According to WSDOT, the FHWA conceptual methodology provided a helpful launching point for assessing the impacts of extreme weather events and projected climate impacts on WSDOT’s system. The report states that the FHWA model can help the state agency identify facilities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, evaluate risks, and determine possible strategies to reduce risk. FHWA's risk assessment model calls for a three-step process, advising agencies to inventory transportation assets, gather existing climate information, and then assess the risk to assets and the transportation system as a whole from projected climate change.


Publication Date: November 2011

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Resource Types:

  • Assessment
  • Scenario planning

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