• 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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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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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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Elevated Floating Bridge on Washington State Route 520

Spring 2016

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is reconstructing the Evergreen Point floating bridge, which runs over Lake Washington along State Route 520 (SR 520) near Seattle, to better accommodate varying winds and storms. The new design will be elevated, which will better protect drivers and the road from waves and storms, and the pontoons that allow the bridge to float will be designed to withstand higher winds. In its climate impacts vulnerability assessment, WSDOT has recognized that high winds could increase as a result of climate change and more extreme weather events.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Tucson, Arizona Rebates for Curb Cuts to Harvest Rainwater

July 2015

In Tucson, curb cuts can reduce flooding on streets and capture water for irrigation in the arid region. Tucson began offering water harvesting rebates for the installation of curb cuts, openings created in the curb to allow stormwater from the street to flow into water-harvesting basins. Curb cuts are used to reduce the amount of stormwater flowing down the street, often diverting that water into basins to irrigate vegetation. The Tucson City Council voted in November 2014 to expand the city’s rainwater harvesting rebate program to provide rebates for curb cut installation.

Related Organizations: City of Tucson, Arizona, City of Tucson, Water Department, Tucson Water

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Monterey County, California Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

June 2015

Monterey County, California and its twelve incorporated municipalities have integrated climate change into their combined Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Hazard Mitigation Plans guide state and local efforts to reduce disaster losses of life, property, and infrastructure, including transportation assets. Home to more than 400,000 people, Monterey County sits along the California coast, where it faces numerous climate-connected - often interrelated - threats, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, wildfires, and landslides, which can all affect transportation.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Parks: Estimating the Exposure of Park Assets to 1 meter of Sea-Level Rise - Transportation Assets

May 2015

The National Park Service (NPS) produced this report assessing assets in coastal parks that may be threatened by a future one-meter rise in sea level. Over 10,000 assets were evaluated, including roads and trails, and 39 percent of assets (or $40 billion worth) in 40 coastal parks were designated as “high exposure. ” The report was intended to provide an overview of NPS' exposure to sea-level rise, but was not designed to inform decision-making about specific assets at the park-level. The analysis provides a methodology for assessing exposure of systems at a national or regional scale.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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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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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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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, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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