• 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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Piedras Blancas Highway 1 Realignment - Caltrans/San Luis Obispo

2015

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning to realign 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, is already experiencing increased storm damage from flooding and erosion, and these impacts are projected to increase with rising sea levels and higher storm surge caused by climate change.  Realigning the highway away from the coast will reduce its vulnerability to current damage as well as to future climate impacts and will protect the highway from bluff retreat for the next 100 years.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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) has 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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Florida Sea-level Rise Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation

October 2015

The University of Florida (UF) developed a geographic information system (GIS)-based “sketch planning tool” to help transportation planners in Florida identify transportation infrastructure potentially vulnerable to projected sea-level rise. The sketch planning tool offers a mapping function to visualize areas that will be affected by different sea-level rise scenarios based upon surface elevations and the location of infrastructure.   The tool is also customizable for experienced users to allow them to create more spatially refined inundation surfaces.

Related Organizations: University of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Sand Berm to Protect Del Monte Avenue in Monterey, California

The shoreline along southern Monterey Bay has historically been subject to strong surge during storm events. These surge conditions are predicted to worsen in the future due to climate change. Each year on November 1, the City of Monterey creates a temporary sand berm to provide flood protection for Del Monte Avenue and an adjacent bike path.   Del Monte Avenue is a low-lying road that runs adjacent to the public beach.   The berm is designed to reduce the likelihood that storm surge will inundate the road.

Related Organizations: City of Monterey, California

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevating Roads in Norfolk, Virginia

February 2014

The Norfolk, Virginia Department of Public Works invested $2. 4 million to improve two waterfront streets, Brambleton and Colley Avenues, to reduce flood impacts.   To reduce tidal flooding of the roadway the city elevated and widened 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 has caused frequent road closures.

Related Organizations: City of Norfolk, Virginia

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York State Bridge Scour Program

January 2014

New York has announced a program to upgrade 105 critical bridges across the state by repairing existing scour damage and increasing resilience to future damage from floods and extreme weather events.   The Bridge Scour Program will ensure that the essential transportation infrastructure remains safe and provides access for emergency responders during the severe weather events that have become more common in New York and may further increase in frequency and severity under future climate conditions.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , State of New York

Resource Category: Funding

 

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New York State DOT Transportation Asset Management Plan

May 2014

New York State’s Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) outlines an investment strategy, framework and process to preserve and manage the multimodal transportation assets in New York State, and identifies climate change as a key risk to the state's highway and bridge assets and New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT's) ability to manage those assets effectively. At a high level, the TAMP also identifies climate-related impacts to the transportation system, and outlines strategies the state can take to mitigate the risk.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is using a variety of new materials and techniques to address drought conditions by reducing or eliminating water use on roadside landscaping.   New roadside landscaping projects may utilize recycled water, native grasses and plants that require little or no watering, innovative water collection techniques, and smart irrigation controls. Caltrans’ new 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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Connecticut DOT - Walk Bridge Replacement Project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is replacing the Norwalk River Railroad Bridge (Walk Bridge) to address the current structure’s vulnerability to climate hazards such as storm damage and heat. The 118-year old Walk Bridge already experiences frequent and costly service failures, including closure failures due to extreme heat. CTDOT expects that heat-related operational failures will increase as the number of high-heat days increase with climate change.   The Walk Bridge is a “swing bridge” spanning the Norwalk River in the Southeast part of the state.

Related Organizations: Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Pilsen Sustainable Streets (Chicago, Illinois Department of Transporation)

October 9, 2012

On October 9, 2012, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed the first phase of the Pilsen Sustainable Streets project, which uses permeable pavement and green infrastructure elements to address current and projected increases in temperature and precipitation. The sustainability project, described as the “greenest street in America,” consists of a two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road located in the Pilsen neighborhood. The project features will help reduce flooding, manage stormwater, and reduce temperatures, allowing CDOT to address two potential climate impacts with the same project.

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

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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