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Alaska Repaving Roads Using Polystyrene Insulation

2013

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.

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Kenai Fjords National Park – Protection of Exit Glacier Road

September 2012

The National Park Service (NPS) has taken interim and long-term measures to repair and reinforce a one-mile section of the access road to Exit Glacier, the most accessible and popular area of Kenai Fjords National Park, to address flooding damage exacerbated by climate impacts. While flooding is a recurring event in the glacial area, less predictable flow patterns and increased flood frequency due to climate change have destabilized drainage on the road. NPS worked with highway engineers to design an interim solution, using concrete barriers to keep flood waters off the road, while continuing to study long-term stabilization solutions.

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Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience

January 1, 2012

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) produced ACRP Synthesis 33 - Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience: A Synthesis of Airport Practice through its Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities

August 2011

In this report the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has compiled local and regional research findings about the water-related impacts of climate change in 12 U. S. cities. NRDC examined more than 75 scientific studies, as well as data and reports generated by government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The report makes clear that some of the most profound effects of climate change are water-related, such as sea-level rise, increased rain and storms, flooding, and drought, and that these kinds of events are likely to increase in the coming years as a result of climate change.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Mark Dorfman, Michelle Mehta, Ben Chou, Steve Fleischli, Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot

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Alaska Highway Case Study: Heat Transfer, Permafrost Degradation, and Transportation Infrastructure Stability

2011

The Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, has supported multiple projects to research measures to reduce permafrost thaw and the resulting impacts to roads, specifically along the Alaska Highway (the only road connecting Alaska to the continental U. S. ). Structural damage occurs when the permafrost under road infrastructure thaws. Thermal modeling demonstrates that the stability of permafrost below roadways and embankments is greatly affected by surface temperatures of roadways, and it has therefore been predicted that as the climate warms, permafrost degradation will be a major issue for the design and maintenance of roads in Alaska.

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Improving Drought Preparedness in the West

January 2011

The Western Governors' Association and Western States Water Council convened a series of workshops to engage constituents in evaluating progress in drought preparedness. The workshops brought together end-users of drought information from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, energy, navigation, water supply, cultural resources, and the environment.   Attendees included representatives of states, federal agencies, tribes, local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

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