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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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Cape Cod Commission’s Adaptation Planning Activities for the Regional Transportation System

July 2015

The Cape Cod Commission (“Commission”) has begun to systematically consider the long-range impacts of climate change as it works to guide regional transportation- and development-planning efforts for an iconic but vulnerable area of coastal Massachusetts. The Commission is responsible for directing regional land-use policy, regulating developments whose impacts cross town boundaries, and supporting the 15 Cape Cod municipalities that make up Barnstable County with planning and technical expertise.

Related Organizations: Cape Cod Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Plumb Beach Renourishment Project and Protection of Belt Parkway, Brooklyn, New York

2013

The Plumb Beach Renourishment Project involved the placement of sand on the beach to protect the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The project, which is managed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), is ongoing and is being implemented in two phases. In Phase I, the Corps nourished the beach with dredged sand and installed several geotube groins (sand bags) to prevent short-term erosion of the newly-deposited sand. Phase I was completed days before hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast region.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York Department of State, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, City of New York, New York, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage Study

October 2011

The Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage study analyzed the causes of a 2006 flood event that put the Federal Triangle Area of Washington D. C. under up to 3 feet of water, including several major traffic arteries, tunnels, and subway stations. The Study analyzes possible alternatives to reducing the risk of interior drainage flooding, including permeable pavements and other Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. In considering the causes of flooding in the area, the Study uses the 200-year flood as a proxy for assessing how climate change may increase flood risks and the frequency of severe storm events.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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California Climate Action Team Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document – for use by Caltrans and other State Agencies

March 2013

The State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document was developed by the Coastal and Ocean Working Group of the California Climate Action Team (CO-CAT) to provide guidance for incorporating sea-level rise (SLR) projections into planning and decision-making in California. The guidance provides ranges of SLR for all California agencies, including the Department of Transportation (CalTrans), to be used for risk-based scenario planning and assessments, such as long term transportation planning and vulnerability assessments.

Related Organizations: California Climate Action Team (CAT), State of California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Washington State DOT (WSDOT) Guidance for Project-Level Climate Change Evaluation

January 2017 Update

The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) issued this guidance to assist the agency’s project planners in considering climate change impacts, which is required for all WSDOT projects subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In addition to obligations under NEPA and SEPA, WSDOT’s 2011-2017 Strategic Plan directs the agency to evaluate future climate-related risks and identify strategies to reduce risk. The guidance provides a standard process for analysis and template language to enable planning-level consideration of Washington’s projected climate impacts.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Confusion Hill Bypass in Mendocino County, California

2009

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) completed the Confusion Hill Bypass project to reduce the vulnerability of Highway 101 in Northern California to landslides. Between 1996 and 2003, Caltrans spent a total of $14 million repairing and maintaining a 2-mile stretch of the highway. In the winter of 2002/2003, Highway 101 was closed 10 times due to landslides. Caltrans identified landslides and flooding as constant challenges in Caltrans District 1, which includes Confusion Hill in Mendocino County.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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