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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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U.S. GAO Climate Change report: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision-Makers – Transportation Findings

May 14, 2013

The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that analyzed findings on the impacts of climate change on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and provided recommendations for Executive action to improve the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure. To develop the report, the GAO analyzed National Research Council (NRC) and the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) climate change assessments and reports, conducted interviews with professional and agency stakeholders, and went on site visits to seven locations where adaptation measures have been integrated into infrastructure project planning.

Related Organizations: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Zealand Transport Agency: SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is upgrading and elevating the State Highway 16 (SH16) Causeway near Auckland to reduce roadway flooding during extreme tidal conditions under projected future sea-level rise. The SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project involves raising 4. 8 kilometers (3 miles) of both roadway and bike path along SH16, also known as the Northwestern Motorway, by 1. 5 meters (5 feet). For this project, NZTA utilized sea-level rise planning recommendations produced by the NZ Ministry for the Environment.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Norwegian Public Roads Administration's Climate and Transport R&D Project

May 2013

Beginning in 2007, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) conducted a major research and development project to evaluate the impacts of climate change on Norwegian roads and recommend adaptation measures to be incorporated into road design, construction, operation, and maintenance and help ensure safety and accessibility of roads in a changing climate. The project, entitled “Climate and Transport,” has resulted in revised guidelines and specifications, to better plan and design for increasing risk related to flooding and sea-level rise.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Preliminary Study of Climate Adaptation for the Statewide Transportation System in Arizona

March 2013

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) Preliminary Study of Climate Adaptation for the Statewide Transportation System in Arizona is intended to provide a preliminary assessment of climate impacts on ADOT infrastructure and a framework for how ADOT can begin to incorporate adaptation into transportation decision-making. The study methodology included mapping ADOT decision-makers; completing a literature review of climate science for the region and adaptation best practices for the Southwest; and conducting online and focus group surveys.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systematics, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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Waveland, Mississippi Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update – Critical Evacuation Routes

March 2013

The City of Waveland, Mississippi developed its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) in 2013 to update its 2007 plan, document the city’s hazard mitigation planning process, and identify relevant vulnerabilities and strategies to increase resiliency. The 2013 LHMP added climate change as a new hazard not previously addressed, as well as several other climate-related hazards such as coastal erosion, drought, extreme heat, and flooding. The LHMP assesses Waveland’s vulnerability to the hazards identified, as well as its hazard mitigation capabilities, and identifies evacuation planning as a high priority action item in light of the vulnerabilities identified.

Related Organizations: City of Waveland, Mississippi

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Caltrans - Addressing Climate Change Adaptation in Regional Transportation Plans: A Guide for California MPOs and RTPAs

February 2013

This guide is intended to be a resource to support metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation planning agencies (RTPAs) in incorporating climate change impacts into their decision-making and planning processes. The guide helps MPOs and RTPAs with assessing risks to transportation assets from different climate stressors, inventorying assets, assessing the vulnerability of assets, and incorporating climate change into long-range planning and investment decisions. To facilitate these processes, the guide includes: background information on climate adaptation, recommended data and information to assist in incorporating climate considerations into regional planning, and a step-by-step process for integrating climate risks into plans.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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District of Columbia Department of Transportation: Climate Change Adaptation Plan

February 2013

The District of Columbia Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Climate Change Adaptation Plan describes the impacts that the District is likely to experience due to climate change, outlines a framework for identifying priority assets, and sets forth a series of action items for implementing the Plan. The target audience for this framework plan is decision makers, engineers, designers, planners, and other transportation professionals in DDOT. The plan focuses only on transportation and was developed based on the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research and guidance.

Related Organizations: District of Columbia Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia – Transportation Impacts

January 14, 2013

This study makes projections for recurrent flooding in coastal Virginia, outlines the predicted impacts on transportation infrastructure, and offers planning and implementation activities to reduce risks to coastal infrastructure. The report provides an overview of available adaptation strategies for recurrent flooding, reviews their implementation around the world, and identifies specific strategies appropriate for Virginia.

Related Organizations: Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Molly Mitchell, Carl Hershner, Julie Herman, Dan Schatt, Pam Mason, Emily Eggington

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience

January 2013

The International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) hosted a workshop in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy where agency officials shared strategies for operations and emergency management during extreme weather events. At the “Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience” (Forum), agency officials who had been on the front lines of the response and recovery effort discussed lessons-learned with one another and with Florida state officials. The Forum was designed to engage transportation and tolling officials in “building adaptive solutions to climate change.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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