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FHWA Climate Change Resilience Pilots

May 2013

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) partnered with State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) to pilot approaches to conduct climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessments of transportation infrastructure, and to analyze options for adapting and improving resiliency. This pilot program is being jointly sponsored by the FHWA Office of Environment, Planning and Realty, and the Office of Infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware – Transportation Infrastructure

July 2012

This Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment describes and quantifies impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) on 79 resources in Delaware, including transportation resources. The Assessment discusses projections of SLR for Delaware, defines the method used to determine potential vulnerability to SLR, and provides analysis of each resource category. Among these resources, the Assessment addresses Delaware’s transportation infrastructure, including railroad lines, roads and bridges, and the Port of Wilmington.

Related Organizations: State of Delaware, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Assessing Criticality in Transportation Adaptation Planning

May 25, 2014

The U. S. Department of Transportation (U. S. DOT) developed this guide to help transportation agencies identify the most critical assets in their transportation systems. Identifying the critical assets can be a very effective way to help inform and narrow the scope of a transportation vulnerability assessment, making the assessment process much more manageable for an agency. The guide provides an overview of common challenges related to assessing asset criticality, options for defining criticality and identifying scope, and a process for applying criteria to rank assets' criticality.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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California State Route 37 Stewardship Study

February 2016

The University of California Davis Road Ecology Center undertook a stewardship study to assess the risk to California State Route 37 (SR 37) from sea-level rise.  SR 37 passes near San Francisco Bay, connecting Interstate 80 and Highway 101.  The road corridor and surrounding wetlands are threatened by sea-level rise and flooding. The road bed sits below sea level at its lowest elevation and is likely to experience erosion, flooding during storms, and inundation due to sea-level rise. The State Road 37 Stewardship Study (Study) included a stakeholder process and technical analyses to determine possible future solutions to reduce the vulnerability of the highway to climate impacts.

Related Organizations: University of California, Davis, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Sonoma Ecology Center

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Florida Sea-level Rise Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation

October 2015

The University of Florida (UF) developed a geographic information system (GIS)-based “sketch planning tool” to help transportation planners in Florida identify transportation infrastructure potentially vulnerable to projected sea-level rise. The sketch planning tool offers a mapping function to visualize areas that will be affected by different sea-level rise scenarios based upon surface elevations and the location of infrastructure.   The tool is also customizable for experienced users to allow them to create more spatially refined inundation surfaces.

Related Organizations: University of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Danish Road Directorate - Blue Spot Analysis

September 2014

The Danish Road Directorate (DRD) developed a Blue Spot Analysis to identify roadways vulnerable to flooding under present conditions and future climate projections and to inform its climate change adaptation response. A “Blue Spot” is a section of road where there is both a high risk of flooding and significant consequences from flooding. Road flooding is the primary climate adaptation challenge for Denmark and is the focus of the DRD’s climate adaptation planning.   The DRD’s strategy to adapt to road flooding is to manage flooding that occurs, improve roads when financially feasible, and to prevent climate-related impacts whenever possible.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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New York’s Expanded USGS StreamStats Tool

December 2015

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a web-based application that operates in conjunction with the existing StreamStats application for New York State to incorporate projected precipitation changes under various 21st century climate change scenarios. This application will allow transportation planners and engineers to explore how climate change may affect high flows, which can assist with the design of over-water infrastructure (such as culverts and bridges) to accommodate these changes.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Identifying Surface Transportation Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment Opportunities Under Climate Change: Case Study in Portland, Oregon

2011

Researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium developed a framework for assessing climate change vulnerabilities to multi-modal transportation systems using a geographic information system (GIS). They used Portland as a case study for testing the GIS model and provided recommendations for how the GIS could be used to develop adaptive responses in the transportation sector. In the study, the researchers focused on two climate impacts that could affect surface transportation networks in Portland – flooding and landslides - and used GIS to model hazard locations in Portland.

Related Organizations: Portland State University, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Lindsay Walker, Miguel A. Figliozzi, Ashley R. Haire, John MacArthur

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Arizona DOT Resilience Pilot Program

August 2015

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is pursuing a “Resilience Pilot Program” (RPP) to improve data and modeling with the aim of reducing incidents of flood, hydraulic-related failure, and extreme weather damage to critical transportation infrastructure. A key element to the new RPP is a partnership with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Leveraging USGS’s resources, the RPP is currently testing new technology such as fixed-wing drone, quad-copter hovercraft and ground based LiDAR imaging to better assess the siting, design, and construction of ADOT’s assets where they interchange with rivers, stream, creeks and floodplains.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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U.S. Department of Transportation's Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST)

2015

The U. S. Department of Transportation's Vulnerability Assessment Scoring Tool (VAST) is an Excel-based tool designed to help transportation planners conduct a quantitative, indicator-based screening of transportation system vulnerabilities to climate stressors. It is intended for use by state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other transportation organizations and agencies, to help these agencies efficiently assess vulnerabilities and prioritize assets.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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