• 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.

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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Paths to a Sustainable Region - Boston Region Long-Range Transportation Plan

September 22, 2011

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), “Paths to a Sustainable Region,” outlines policies, programs, and projects of regional significance or major infrastructure projects that have been identified as priorities for the region between now and 2035. The Boston LRTP adds climate change as an area of emphasis, and acknowledges the importance of adaptation measures to lessen or avoid potential impacts from climate change.

Related Organizations: Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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2060 Florida Transportation Plan

December 2010

The “2060 Florida Transportation Plan” provides transportation planning guidance for the state, and includes emergency preparedness and resilience planning in its long-range objectives. The Plan, developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), sets high-level transportation objectives for the state, and offers implementation strategies to meet those objectives.

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Climate Adaptation Strategy - Energy and Transportation Infrastructure

December 2009

Chapter X of the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy (CAS) summarizes projected climate change impacts to transportation and energy infrastructure in the state, and recommends adaptation strategies to address those impacts. California’s extensive infrastructure system will likely be subject to climate change-related impacts from higher temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. To adapt to these impacts, the CAS recommends four adaptation strategies for transportation infrastructure: develop a climate vulnerability assessment; incorporate climate change into existing investment decisions; develop design standards to minimize risks; and incorporate climate change considerations into disaster preparedness planning.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Planning

 

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European Road Authorities’ Climate Risk Assessment Tools: RIMAROCC and ROADAPT Projects

May 2015

European nations collaborated on two research projects beginning in 2009 to develop a detailed climate change risk assessment methodology and tools for adapting transportation systems and infrastructure. The first project, entitled “RIMAROCC” (Risk Management for Roads in a Changing Climate), produced a risk assessment framework to support decision-making regarding roads in light of climate change impacts. The more recent “ROADAPT” (Roads for Today, Adapted for Tomorrow) project developed guidelines and tools to be used with the RIMAROCC risk assessment framework, to better inform detailed vulnerability and socioeconomic impact assessments, and selection of adaptation strategies.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Rebuild by Design: Big U - Transportation Elements

June 2014

New York City has been awarded $335 million to build a flood protection system around lower Manhattan and protect the critical ground transportation artery FDR Drive, as envisioned in the Big U project proposal developed for Rebuild by Design. The Big U proposal was one of six winners of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design Competition and was developed by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The BIG U project proposes to build deployable walls that swing down from the underside of FDR Drive, which runs along the East River on the eastern side of Manhattan and has been an inlet for flood waters into Manhattan during extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

Related Organizations: New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Boston Architectural College Green Alley Initiative

October 2013

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) installed a green alley demonstration project on its campus located in the Back Bay area of Boston along the Charles River.   The green alley used permeable pavement to allow stormwater to percolate through the road bed to recharge groundwater and filter pollutants.   The project was designed to be replicable and to help with public education on the benefits and design of green infrastructure. The purpose of the green alley is to reduce polluted runoff by filtering and redirecting rainfall to the groundwater table.

Related Organizations: Boston Architectural College, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Boston Complete Streets: Design Guidelines

2013

The Boston Transportation Department and other Boston city agencies have developed Complete Streets guidelines that incorporate green infrastructure components such as permeable pavements and street trees to address impacts of climate change including increased heat and precipitation. “Complete streets” are designed to create more sustainable transportation networks by encouraging multi-modal travel options and enhancing the natural environment within the public right-of-way.  By promoting the use of green infrastructure, the City can help reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, Boston Transportation Department

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Adaptation Peer Exchange

June 13, 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Climate Change Adaptation Peer Exchange gave transportation officials from western states an opportunity to learn more about climate impacts on transportation assets and plan for improved resilience. The participants in the exchange, California DOT (Caltrans), Oregon DOT (ODOT), and Washington State DOT (WSDOT), collaborated on strategies for assessing risks related to climate change, incorporating adaptation into asset management and operations, and communicating about the need for adaptation.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), ICF International, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Elevating Roads in Norfolk, Virginia

February 2014

The Norfolk, Virginia Department of Public Works invested $2. 4 million in 2013-2014 to improve two waterfront streets, Brambleton and Colley Avenues, and reduce flood impacts.   To reduce tidal flooding of the roadway the city elevated and widened a section of Brambleton Avenue and rebuilt the intersection of Brambleton and Colley Avenues. Brambleton Avenue is a principal artery in downtown Norfolk that runs along the Elizabeth River and crosses over an inlet called the Hague.   The project was implemented to address recurrent flooding that was already occurring in the area, which had caused frequent road closures.

Related Organizations: City of Norfolk, Virginia

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Piedras Blancas Highway 1 Realignment - Caltrans/San Luis Obispo

2017

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) realigned a 2. 8 mile section of iconic Highway 1 to address current and anticipated impacts from coastal erosion and storm surge.   This section of Highway 1, which is north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in San Luis Obispo County, was already experiencing increased storm damage from flooding and erosion, with these impacts projected to increase with rising sea levels and higher storm surge caused by climate change.   Realigning the highway away from the coast reduces its vulnerability to current damage as well as to future climate impacts and is anticipated to protect the highway from bluff retreat beyond the year 2100.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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