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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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Transportation During and After Hurricane Sandy (New York, New Jersey)

November 2012

This report details the efforts New York and New Jersey took to prepare for impacts to the transportation system before Hurricane Sandy, and measures state and local entities took after the storm to restore service and to improve the system. Although the report does not talk about climate change specifically, the measures discussed could be used to increase the resilience of transportation systems to extreme weather and impacts of climate change. The report also details investments that state and local entities could make to increase the resilience of transportation system such as installing backup power for subway pumps, increasing the use of porous pavements in flood-prone areas, and locating generators and fuel sources above flood elevations or out of floodplains.

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

Authors or Affiliated Users: Sarah Kaufman, Carson Qing, Nolan Levenson, Melinda Hanson

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Reconstruction of Wacker Drive (Chicago, Illinois) Using High Performance Concrete

November 2012

The City of Chicago redesigned and rebuilt the iconic two-level Wacker Drive using high performance concrete to be resilient to a variety of extreme weather conditions, such as severe freeze-thaw cycles. To prevent the same deterioration that had occurred with the previous design, the city required that the redesigned upper deck be built for a minimum 100-year service life, be chemically resistant to de-icing salts and have no cracks during the deck's 100-year life.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Atlantic City - Compressed Natural Gas Jitney Buses Used for Evacuations During Hurricane Sandy

November 2012

Atlantic City, New Jersey used minibuses known as “jitneys” that were powered by compressed natural gas in their emergency planning efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Because the vehicles run on an alternative fuel, they were able to continue operating when gasoline was in short supply during and after the hurricane.

Related Organizations: Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Prince George’s County, Maryland Complete Streets Initiative

November 2012

In 2012, the Prince George’s County Council in Maryland passed a Complete Streets Ordinance that requires officials to incorporate measures to manage runoff and increase access for all roadway users (bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. ) on public and some private roadways. The ordinance directs county officials to incorporate environmental site design into road, trail, sidewalk, and transit construction projects to ensure that stormwater runoff is well-managed and that roads are accessible to everyone.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet)

The Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet) brings together climate scientists, engineering researchers, private practitioners, and transportation officials to support adaptation in the transportation sector in the Northeast US.   The focus of ICNet is to deliver data, tools, partnerships, and education to help transportation agencies understand potential climate impacts to the transportation system and identify engineering solutions to prepare roads, bridges, and other infrastructure for the effects of climate change.

Related Organizations: University of New Hampshire

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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Maryland Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction (Executive Order 01.01.2012.29) – Application to Transportation Infrastructure and Facilities

December 28, 2012

On December 28, 2012, then-Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, Executive Order 01.01.2012.29, Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction, directing all state agencies to consider the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise in the siting and design of state structures to avoid or minimize impacts. The order applies to all state facilities and structures, including transportation facilities.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State of Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Cost-Benefit Model Evaluation – Mud Bay Bridge, Puget Sound, Washington

2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tested a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) cost-benefit model by evaluating adaptation options for replacing Mud Bay Bridge on SR101 in Olympia. The bridge serves the community as a major corridor through Olympia and provides access to Interstate-5, the main north-south freeway in Puget Sound. Depending on the rate of sea-level rise in the region under various climate change scenarios, it is anticipated that Mud Bay Bridge will become inundated before 2100.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Orleans Evacuspots and Evacuteers Program

2013

The New Orleans non-profit Evacuteer. org installed clearly recognizable public art in “Evacuspots,” New Orleans’ designated emergency evacuation locations, to facilitate public transportation during a mandatory evacuation in advance of a Category three or higher hurricane. Evacuteer. org partners with the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to aid in the operation of City Assisted Evacuation (CAE), the city’s free, public evacuation program to assist residents without their own means of transportation.

Related Organizations: Evacuteer.org, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, City of New Orleans, Louisiana

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Emergency Relief Program: Sandy Disaster Aid Resilience Projects

2013

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) allocated $4. 3 billion of its disaster recovery money specifically for projects in the Sandy-impacted areas that increase the resilience of public transportation systems and facilities to future disasters and the impacts of climate change. Funding for resilience projects was allocated in separate tiers. First, for “locally-prioritized projects,” which include resilience improvements made in conjunction with other recovery and rebuilding projects or lower cost stand-alone projects that could be implemented quickly.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Necanicum River - Highway 101 Flood Mitigation

2013

A flood mitigation and habitat restoration project led by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) and funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) removed a levee built in the 1960s and reestablished the Necanicum River floodplain, mitigating flooding of Highway 101.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), North Coast Land Conservancy

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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