• 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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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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Cool Pavement Roads in Sydney, Australia

June 2014

The City of Sydney Australia is exploring the use of “cool pavements” (i. e. , lighter colored pavement) on roads to reduce the urban heat island effect in the city.  The City is evaluating the effectiveness of cool pavements through a demonstration project in which they propose to repave 600 sq. meters of a street in Chippendale, a suburb of Sydney, with lighter colored pavements. Cool pavements are one method of reducing higher temperatures in urban environments because lighter colored pavements absorb less heat energy.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Danish Road Directorate - Blue Spot Analysis

September 2014

The Danish Road Directorate (DRD) developed a Blue Spot Analysis to identify roadways vulnerable to flooding under present conditions and future climate projections and to inform its climate change adaptation response. A “Blue Spot” is a section of road where there is both a high risk of flooding and significant consequences from flooding. Road flooding is the primary climate adaptation challenge for Denmark and is the focus of the DRD’s climate adaptation planning.   The DRD’s strategy to adapt to road flooding is to manage flooding that occurs, improve roads when financially feasible, and to prevent climate-related impacts whenever possible.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began using a variety of new materials and techniques to address drought conditions by reducing or eliminating water use on roadside landscaping following the onset of multi-year severe drought conditions in 2011.   New roadside landscaping projects began utilizing recycled water, native grasses and plants that require little or no watering, innovative water collection techniques, and smart irrigation controls. Caltrans’ water conservation efforts are designed to help meet or exceed state water use reduction goals and address growing water scarcity.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maryland Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Infrastructure Siting and Design Guidelines

January 31, 2014

In December 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Climate Change and ‘Coast Smart’ Construction,” requiring state agencies to consider risks of coastal flooding and sea-level rise in state capital budget projects, and requiring the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop guidelines for the siting and design of infrastructure and other projects. Pursuant to the EO, in January 2014, the DNR-led Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Working Group published “Coast Smart” Guidelines that provide recommendations to institutionalize consideration of coastal flooding and sea-level rise in planning and constructing all new or rehabilitated state structural and infrastructure projects, as well as state-funded private projects.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Chattanooga-Hamilton County/North Georgia 2040 Regional Transportation Plan

December 2013

The long-range regional transportation plan for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County/North Georgia Transportation Planning Organization (CHCNGA TPO), entitled “2040 Regional Transportation Plan” (2040 RTP), includes a report on Climate Change and Transportation Resiliency for the region. The Plan identifies critical transportation assets in the CHCNGA TPO region, assesses the potential vulnerability and risk for each asset across a range of potential impacts, and outlines planning, design and operations adaptation actions that could be deployed to mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

Related Organizations: Chattanooga-Hamilton County/North Georgia Transportation Planning Organization

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Climate Risk Assessment for United Kingdom's "High Speed Two" Rail Network

November 2013

The UK Government's proposed design for a new high speed railway between London and points north considered climate change-related risks, including flooding of tracks and overheating in tunnels. The risk assessment report discusses how those risks will be addressed in the proposed design for the project. The proposed project, High Speed Two (HS2), is designed to link eight of Britain’s ten largest cities and increase the capacity of the country’s rail infrastructure. The project is expected to cost 16 billion British pounds, with service to start in 2026.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Alaska Repaving Roads Using Polystyrene Insulation

2013

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.

Related Organizations: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

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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