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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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District of Columbia Department of Transportation: Climate Change Adaptation Plan

February 2013

The District of Columbia Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Climate Change Adaptation Plan describes the impacts that the District is likely to experience due to climate change, outlines a framework for identifying priority assets, and sets forth a series of action items for implementing the Plan. The target audience for this framework plan is decision makers, engineers, designers, planners, and other transportation professionals in DDOT. The plan focuses only on transportation and was developed based on the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) research and guidance.

Related Organizations: District of Columbia Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Assessment of the Body of Knowledge on Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation Measures into Transportation Projects

December 2013

Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this report presents climate change adaptation actions from transportation agencies across the country, and best practices for implementing adaptive solutions. The report also discusses strategies and provides examples for evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FHWA's Risk-Based Asset Management Planning Rule

October 24, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued this final rule to implement new planning requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). MAP-21 and FAST require state departments of transportation (DOTs) to transition to performance-based decision-making, a large part of which is the development of a risk-based asset management plan. The new requirements are intended to ensure that federal transportation funding is spent more wisely, with specific performance targets in mind and in consideration of the likely costs to construct, operate, and maintain transportation assets over their full lifetime.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Dane County, Wisconsin 2014 Budget - climate adaptation funding for infrastructure

November 2013

The 2014 Dane County, Wisconsin executive budget proposal asked for nearly $1 million in funding for climate adaptation, including several transportation infrastructure improvements such as larger culverts for increased precipitation runoff. This is the first time that the Dane County Executive has included requests for climate adaptation funding in its budget. The County Board adopted the proposed budget in November 2013.

Related Organizations: Dane County, Wisconsin Climate Change Action Council

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Rebuilding Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park

November 2013

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) implemented several different solutions to address damage to Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park to improve the future resilience of the highway. Measures include custom culvert design, soil stabilization, and replacing culverts with bridges. Multiple sections of Highway 210 remain closed while MnDOT conducts damage assessments and develops long-term plans.

Related Organizations: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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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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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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Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) Parking Lot Relocation

National Park Service (NPS) managers at Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) have developed a plan to adapt roadways and parking areas to excessive erosion and overwashing from storm surges. This plan is in progress, and this case study will be updated accordingly. Two parking lots will be relocated away from the shoreline to reduce their vulnerability to erosion from future storms and help restore natural coastal processes. Additionally, they will be reconstructed from materials that are readily available on Assateague Island, such as clay and crushed clam shell, which will help reduce water flow rates over the parking lots and corresponding risk of erosion.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chicago DOT - Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Policies and Guidelines

July 2013

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) issued these guidelines (“Guidelines”) to require the implementation of sustainability best practices (environmental and social) into all transportation infrastructure projects, with metrics to ensure that projects are designed to be resilient to the long-term impacts of climate change. The Guidelines include two components: Volume I outlines the city’s sustainability goals and the process for integrating those goals into urban infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance; Volume 2 provides specific strategies, references, and resources to help project managers and engineers incorporate sustainability principles into specific projects.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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