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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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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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Plumb Beach Renourishment Project and Protection of Belt Parkway, Brooklyn, New York

2013

The Plumb Beach Renourishment Project involved the placement of sand on the beach to protect the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY. The project, which is managed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), is ongoing and is being implemented in two phases. In Phase I, the Corps nourished the beach with dredged sand and installed several geotube groins (sand bags) to prevent short-term erosion of the newly-deposited sand. Phase I was completed days before hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast region.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York Department of State, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, City of New York, New York, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage Study

October 2011

The Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage study analyzed the causes of a 2006 flood event that put the Federal Triangle Area of Washington D. C. under up to 3 feet of water, including several major traffic arteries, tunnels, and subway stations. The Study analyzes possible alternatives to reducing the risk of interior drainage flooding, including permeable pavements and other Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. In considering the causes of flooding in the area, the Study uses the 200-year flood as a proxy for assessing how climate change may increase flood risks and the frequency of severe storm events.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Washington State DOT (WSDOT) Guidance for Project-Level Climate Change Evaluation

January 2017 Update

The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) issued this guidance to assist the agency’s project planners in considering climate change impacts, which is required for all WSDOT projects subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In addition to obligations under NEPA and SEPA, WSDOT’s 2011-2017 Strategic Plan directs the agency to evaluate future climate-related risks and identify strategies to reduce risk. The guidance provides a standard process for analysis and template language to enable planning-level consideration of Washington’s projected climate impacts.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Delaware County, Pennsylvania Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk – Transportation Sector

2010

This Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk evaluates climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities, and planning priorities for Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The Roadmap was developed through a workshop for local decision-makers in Delaware County. Infrastructure was one of the topics addressed by workshop participants, which includes the transportation sector.

Related Organizations: NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines, Appendix 2: Climate Change Projections

March 23, 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in 2011 created Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines to rate agency infrastructure projects using a point system and checklist that incorporates design evaluation based on climate change projections for temperature, precipitation, and flood elevation. The Guidelines require application of these climate change projections and evaluation of impacts in order to receive points for the “Site Assessment” phase of project design, which generally involves assessing existing conditions and using the information to identify best management practices (BMPs) for the project.

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

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report – Transportation Strategies

September 2011

The Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report provides an assessment of impacts to key infrastructure assets across the state, and presents specific strategies for building the resilience and adaptive capacity of the transportation sector. The report describes the process, principles, findings, and recommendations of the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee, and begins the identification and development of adaptation strategies for the state. The ‘Key Infrastructure’ chapter discusses specific vulnerabilities and impacts anticipated for the transportation sector that could result from climate change, and outlines no regret, short-term, and long-term strategies to help increase resilience, decrease vulnerabilities, and better prepare for a changing climate.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Miami Beach Stormwater Infrastructure Adaptation

The City of Miami-Beach is taking action to protect Miami Beach roads, sidewalks, storm drains, and other key infrastructure from sea-level rise and flooding by installing pumps, raising roads, and protecting the city with seawalls. The project seeks to guard both critical resources like the City’s water and power supply as well as roads and property from flooding. The City is in the process of investing an estimated $500 million for this project that is slated to last six more years. Funding comes from local taxes and 84% increase in stormwater fees.

Related Organizations: City of Miami Beach, Florida

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Cape Cod (Massachusetts) Interagency Transportation, Land Use, and Climate Change Pilot Project

March 2012

This report describes a pilot project in Cape Cod, Massachusetts initiated by the federal Interagency Working Group on Transportation, Land Use and Climate Change for the purpose of developing and testing a framework for assessing the effects of sea level rise (SLR) on land- use and transportation infrastructure, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation sources. The goal of the project was to create a replicable process for other regions to follow for using scenario planning to consider climate change in transportation and land-use plans, and for coordinating across agencies and integrating agency planning processes.

Related Organizations: John A. Volpe National Transportation System Center, Cape Cod Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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