• Transportation Resources

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 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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International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure

2015

The International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road infrastructure (Framework) was developed by the World Road Association to help the road authorities in member countries develop consistent approaches for assessing climate change effects on road networks and identify appropriate measures to reduce climate risks to transportation infrastructure.   The Framework guides authorities through a series of steps to help them assess the risks to transportation infrastructure, prioritize assets for adaptive response, develop strategies to respond to climate risks, and integrate assessment findings into transportation decisionmaking processes.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Engineering Department Manual - Climate Resilience Design Guidelines

January 22, 2015

The Engineering Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) produced the Climate Resilience Design Guidelines (guidelines) to ensure that new agency infrastructure and buildings are designed to account for projected changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level.  PANYNJ project architects and engineers are to use the guidelines to assess the vulnerability of projects to future impacts and to address those impacts when designing port authority infrastructure and buildings.

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

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (Focus Area 7: Integrate Transportation and Land Use Decision-Making – Climate Change Resilience and Long-Range Planning Section)

January 2015

“The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice,” developed by the State Smart Transportation Initiative and Smart Growth America, contains a resiliency section that provides guidance for state departments of transportation (DOTs) on how to incorporate climate change adaptation into long-range transportation planning. It provides state DOTs with a comprehensive list of reforms that will address potential climate-related vulnerabilities and reduce the likelihood, magnitude, duration and cost of disruption associated with extreme weather.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Piedras Blancas Highway 1 Realignment - Caltrans/San Luis Obispo

2015

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning to realign a 2. 8 mile section of iconic Highway 1 to address current and anticipated impacts from coastal erosion and storm surge.  This section of Highway 1, which is north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in San Luis Obispo County, is already experiencing increased storm damage from flooding and erosion, and these impacts are projected to increase with rising sea levels and higher storm surge caused by climate change.  Realigning the highway away from the coast will reduce its vulnerability to current damage as well as to future climate impacts and will protect the highway from bluff retreat for the next 100 years.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Toward Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document

January 2015

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guide, “Toward Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document,” synthesizes current knowledge on pavement system sustainability, including the effects that pavement has on climate-related considerations such as stormwater runoff and the urban heat island effect. The guide includes information and extensive synopses of current research on how pavement materials, design, construction, maintenance, and other use considerations can affect and enhance sustainability.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Washington, DC Flood Levee System Improvements

December 2014

To prevent water from the Potomac and Anacostia rivers from flooding downtown Washington, D. C. , the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is improving the levee system along the north side of the National Mall, running from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument.   A levee system was originally erected to protect the District in 1939, following a major flood event in 1936.   This project will improve the levee system through a series of upgrades: a permanent closure at 23rd Street and Fort McNair, and the installation of a more robust removable wall, which will provide flood protection but also allow for traffic flow on 17th street between flood events.

Related Organizations: National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), District of Columbia Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Capitol Corridor (CA) Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and 2014 Vision Plan Update

November 19, 2014

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) conducted a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment for the corridor’s rail assets and is incorporating those findings into the agency’s Vision Plan, identifying sea-level rise as a critical issue in long-term planning and investments. The Capitol Corridor, which is managed but not owned by the CCJPA, serves as the primary public transportation connection between the Sacramento metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area. Large stretches of the corridor run along waterfronts and through marshlands and other areas that will be increasingly vulnerable to inundation and flooding during storm events as sea levels rise.

Related Organizations: Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is using a variety of new materials and techniques to address drought conditions by reducing or eliminating water use on roadside landscaping.   New roadside landscaping projects may utilize recycled water, native grasses and plants that require little or no watering, innovative water collection techniques, and smart irrigation controls. Caltrans’ new water conservation efforts are designed to help meet or exceed state water use reduction goals and address growing water scarcity.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act – Application to Transportation Infrastructure Projects

September 22, 2014

Starting in March 2015, public infrastructure projects in New York, including those that are constructed, funded, or approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), must be evaluated on their resiliency to sea-level rise and future extreme weather events. The New York state Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) requires state agencies to consider climate change impacts in funding and permitting decisions. The CRRA specifically applies to new, expanded, or reconstructed infrastructure projects reviewed by NYSDOT under the state’s Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act (SGPIPA).

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), State of New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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