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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.

Resources are automatically presented by rating, but can also be sorted by date and title. Apply additional filters to narrow the list by climate impact, region, transportation mode or stage of decision-making, state, or jurisdictional focus.

 

 

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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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Arizona DOT Resilience Pilot Program

August 2015

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is pursuing a “Resilience Pilot Program” (RPP) to improve data and modeling with the aim of reducing incidents of flood, hydraulic-related failure, and extreme weather damage to critical transportation infrastructure. A key element to the new RPP is a partnership with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Leveraging USGS’s resources, the RPP is currently testing new technology such as fixed-wing drone, quad-copter hovercraft and ground based LiDAR imaging to better assess the siting, design, and construction of ADOT’s assets where they interchange with rivers, stream, creeks and floodplains.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Sacramento Region Transportation Adaptation Plan and Regional Transportation Plan

August 2015

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) developed a high-level vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan (“Adaptation Plan”) for the region’s transportation infrastructure, and is using the plan as a framework to guide future adaptation work and inform planning for transportation investments. The initial findings from the Adaptation Plan are being incorporated into the region’s 2016 long-range transportation plan update. The Adaptation Plan looks at risks to transportation from four primary climate-related threats to the region: extreme temperature; wildfire; precipitation, runoff, and flooding; and landslides.

Related Organizations: Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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North Carolina Highway 12 Storm Recovery

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is implementing several different solutions to address frequent overwashes, erosion, and more severe damage to North Carolina Highway 12 (NC 12) following Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. These measures, intended to improve the future resilience of the highway, include bridge construction and temporary beach nourishment.

Related Organizations: North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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) 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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Florida Sea-level Rise Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation

October 2015

The University of Florida (UF) developed a geographic information system (GIS)-based “sketch planning tool” to help transportation planners in Florida identify transportation infrastructure potentially vulnerable to projected sea-level rise. The sketch planning tool offers a mapping function to visualize areas that will be affected by different sea-level rise scenarios based upon surface elevations and the location of infrastructure.   The tool is also customizable for experienced users to allow them to create more spatially refined inundation surfaces.

Related Organizations: University of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Restoration and Relocation Efforts

October 2015

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located at the southern tip of Assateague Island, depends on parking and road facilities that are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.   Refuge managers have been exploring alternatives for responding to these impacts that they anticipate will worsen with sea-level rise and climate change. The refuge is studying alternatives to relocate parking facilities and is using oyster reefs to protect transportation facilities. Parking facilities on the island are made of loose shells and sand so as not to disrupt the natural terrain.

Related Organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FDOT Rebuild of Highway A1A in Fort Lauderdale

December 2015

After Hurricane Sandy washed out a segment of the state highway, the Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) and the City of Fort Lauderdale rebuilt a portion of the A1A highway (“A1A”) to be more resilient to future impacts. The redesigned highway segment includes several different features that will increase the highway’s resilience to future flooding and erosion and will also make the city more walkable and bikeable:

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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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New York’s Expanded USGS StreamStats Tool

December 2015

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a web-based application that operates in conjunction with the existing StreamStats application for New York State to incorporate projected precipitation changes under various 21st century climate change scenarios. This application will allow transportation planners and engineers to explore how climate change may affect high flows, which can assist with the design of over-water infrastructure (such as culverts and bridges) to accommodate these changes.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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