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Transportation Sector Case Studies

These resources include case studies of adaptation in the transportation sector, developed by the Georgetown Climate Center as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration. The case studies include examples of how adaptation has been incorporated into decisionmaking at all stages of the transportation lifecycle: assessing vulnerability, planning, design, and operations and maintenance.

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Miami-Dade County Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk

March 3, 2011

With assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center, the Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability hosted a workshop for county department staff from across all sectors to learn about potential sea level rise (SLR) impacts on county assets and processes, provide input on a county-wide vulnerability assessment, and identify opportunities to adapt to SLR and other climate impacts. The workshop employed NOAA’s Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk, which provides communities with a framework for conducting a participatory assessment of community vulnerability to coastal hazards as well as an approach for incorporating relevant risk information into local planning.

Related Organizations: National Association of Counties, Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability, Miami-Dade County, Florida, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Vulnerability Assessment for the Saco Bay, Maine Communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Scarborough – Vulnerable Transportation Infrastructure

April 13, 2011

This vulnerability assessment was conducted by the Saco Bay Sea Level Adaptation Working Group (SLAWG), and assessed the vulnerability of Saco Bay communities to sea-level rise (SLR), flooding and erosion. The assessment looked at vulnerabilities for the towns of Saco, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford. This Saco Bay region contains the largest contiguous stretch of beaches and coastal wetlands in the state and has experienced some of the state’s most severe erosion problems. Although the focus on the study was on the vulnerability of the communities as a whole, part of the assessment identified roads in the region that will be vulnerable to inundation under different SLR scenarios.

Related Organizations: Saco Bay Sea Level Adaptation Working Group (SLAWG), Maine State Planning Office, Maine Department of Conservation

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Application of the Climate Change Adaptation Tool for Transportation to the Mid-Atlantic Region

December 2011

Using the Mid-Atlantic region as a case study, a University of Delaware team tested the real-world applicability of the Climate Change Adaptation Tool for Transportation (CCATT), a Microsoft Excel-based tool to help transportation agencies and MPOs assess climate impacts and evaluate adaptation options for transportation projects. The team applied the methodology behind the tool to evaluate the impacts of temperature, sea-level rise, and precipitation to the transportation infrastructure in New Castle County, DE, the focus area of the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO).

Related Organizations: University of Delaware

Author or Affiliated User: Michelle Renee Oswald

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FHWA-HEP-12-010: The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments

January 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum “The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments” provides guidance on how to access and use historical climate change information and projections of future climate conditions when performing vulnerability assessments for transportation systems. This memorandum describes several sources of climate information and technical assistance, and provides recommendations on how transportation planners can use this information as they consider their climate-related risks.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Michigan Cost-Benefit Model Evaluation of M222 Slope Stabilization

2011

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) tested a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) cost-benefit model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a roadside slope stabilization project in light of future temperature and precipitation projections. The road, which is located on a portion of route M-222 along the Kalamazoo River in the City of Allegan, has a slope that has already experienced erosion caused by intense precipitation and flooding.  MDOT was in the process of stabilizing the slope using structural measures, rather than vegetative or other “soft” approaches.

Related Organizations: Michigan Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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City of Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan - Transportation Measures

December 2011

The City of Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan identifies the infrastructure and resources most vulnerable to climate change impacts, including critical transportation infrastructure. The plan also presents climate adaptation action items ranked by priority based on risk to the community; the replacement of Santa Cruz’s Highway 1/Highway 9 Bridge was identified as a “very high priority” action item to address upstream flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Santa Cruz, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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PANYNJ Assessment of the Vulnerability to the Impacts of Climate Change

April 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) conducted a vulnerability and risk assessment of the agency’s critical infrastructure to the anticipated effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and increased storm surge, precipitation, and temperatures.   PANYNJ analyzed climate-related vulnerability and level of risk for a wide variety of agency infrastructure, including airports, marine terminals, tunnels and bridges, rails, bus stations, and other facilities.   The risk analysis was used to prioritize the highest risk assets and develop adaptation strategies for those assets.

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Charles River Watershed Association Green Infrastructure Demonstration Projects

The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), through its “Blue Cities Initiative,” develops demonstration projects that feature green infrastructure along streets and in other public and private spaces, with the goal of managing increases in precipitation caused by climate change. More frequent and intense rainfall events will increase the risks of flooding, sewer overflows, and water pollution in the Northeast. CRWA has implemented demonstration projects in the Boston metropolitan area to illustrate and assess the effectiveness of different green stormwater management techniques, including permeable pavements and roadside vegetation, and to encourage replication of these strategies in other areas.

Related Organizations: Charles River Watershed Association, City of Boston, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Operational Changes to Manage Extreme Snow and Ice Events

2011

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has introduced maintenance and operations procedures for snow and ice removal in cases of unusual snow events that would limit the airport’s role as one of the world’s busiest airports.   After experiencing a large snow and ice storm in 2011, DFW could not handle the snow-clearing needs to keep the airport operating at full capacity. The storm occurred right before the Super Bowl in 2011, halting the flow of thousands of visitors using the airport for travel and bringing attention to the need to better manage severe winter storms.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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