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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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Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report – Transportation Strategies

September 2011

The Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report provides an assessment of impacts to key infrastructure assets across the state, and presents specific strategies for building the resilience and adaptive capacity of the transportation sector. The report describes the process, principles, findings, and recommendations of the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee, and begins the identification and development of adaptation strategies for the state. The ‘Key Infrastructure’ chapter discusses specific vulnerabilities and impacts anticipated for the transportation sector that could result from climate change, and outlines no regret, short-term, and long-term strategies to help increase resilience, decrease vulnerabilities, and better prepare for a changing climate.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Massachusetts Port Authority Resiliency Program and Floodproofing Design Guide

April 2015

In 2014, the Massachusetts Port Authority (“Massport”) began the Massport Resiliency Program to protect Massport transportation facilities from flooding hazards caused by extreme storms and rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The program seeks to better prepare for the impacts of climate change by incorporating resilience principles into Massport’s business strategy and operations. As a part of this program, Massport created a Floodproofing Design Guide (“Guide”) that will help make the built environment resilient to sea-level rise and major flood events.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Miami Beach Stormwater Infrastructure Adaptation

The City of Miami-Beach is taking action to protect Miami Beach roads, sidewalks, storm drains, and other key infrastructure from sea-level rise and flooding by installing pumps, raising roads, and protecting the city with seawalls. The project seeks to guard both critical resources like the City’s water and power supply as well as roads and property from flooding. The City is in the process of investing an estimated $500 million for this project that is slated to last six more years. Funding comes from local taxes and 84% increase in stormwater fees.

Related Organizations: City of Miami Beach, Florida

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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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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Michigan DOT I-696 Slope Restoration Project

Fall 2012

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) restored roadside slopes along approximately 9 miles of I-696 between I-75 and I-94 using alternative plants that are heat and drought resistant and will help stabilize the slopes to prevent erosion.   The slope restoration project is part of an effort to reduce stormwater runoff from roadways and thereby protect the quality of Michigan waterways.   The 55,000 plants, shrubs, and trees selected create a variable-depth root structure to help stabilize the steep slopes and reduce runoff volume and velocity, particularly during intense rain events that are projected to increase in intensity and variability with climate change.

Related Organizations: Michigan Department of Transportation

Author or Affiliated User: Michigan Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Minnesota DOT Flood Mitigation Program

The state of Minnesota created a $50 million Minnesota Department of Transportation (“MnDOT”) Flood Mitigation Program (“Program”) to increase the resilience of transportation system after severe spring floods in 2010 caused over $64 million in damages in the state. The Flood Mitigation Program will fund repairs, elevations, and realignments to road and bridges, as well as improvements to drainage structures. Although the program documents do not explicitly cite to climate change, MnDOT lists the Flood Mitigation Program as an adaptation action that the agency is taking to prepare for climate change.

Related Organizations: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Monterey County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

June 2015

Monterey County, Calif. , and its twelve incorporated municipalities have integrated climate change into their combined Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (“the Plan”).   Hazard Mitigation Plans guide state and local efforts to reduce disaster losses of life, property, and infrastructure, including transportation assets.   Home to more than 400,000 people, Monterey County sits along the California coast, where it faces numerous climate-connected—often-interrelated—threats, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, wildfires, and landslides, which can all affect transportation.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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NPS Gulf Islands National Seashore - Fort Pickens Ferry System

September 2015

In order to maintain cost-effective, sustainable visitor access to the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS), the National Park Service (NPS) has proposed the development of passenger ferry service from Pensacola, Florida, to Fort Pickens. Santa Rosa Island, the site of Fort Pickens and part of GUIS, is susceptible to coastal storms and erosion. The Fort Pickens Road within GUIS is frequently damaged by storms, including hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The transportation system in the Fort Pickens area is particularly vulnerable to disruptions caused by these impacts.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NYC MTA Storm Surge Protection via Catastrophe Bond Market (New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

July 31, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sold a catastrophe bond in July 2013 to raise funds to manage flood risk to the system and offset any costs of future storm damage if the city is hit by another hurricane in the next three years. Sandy caused an estimated $4 to $5 billion in damages to MTA assets; as a result, insurance prices for MTA doubled. To finance protections from future storm surges, MTA issued $200 million in shares of catastrophe bonds to supplement traditional insurance, costing MTA $46 million a year.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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