• 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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Savannah, Georgia Region's Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

August 2014

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO) adopted the Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (“plan”) to help guide officials responsible for planning and preparing Chatham County-Savannah infrastructure for changes the region will see in the upcoming decades, including the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. Required by federal law to be updated every five years, the plan updates the region’s 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and puts a greater emphasis on sustainability, complete streets, context-sensitive design and non-motorized transportation options.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s Plan 2040: A Shared Vision for Sustainable Growth

September 4, 2013

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Regional Transportation Plan (Plan 2040) looks at strategies for incorporating climate change resilience throughout the entire transportation system. Chapter 2. 5 of the plan discusses “Resiliency and Climate Adaptation Strategies” for the NYMTC region. Plan 2040 reviews the NYMTC region’s jurisdictions to identify vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, establish common goals, and make recommendations for strategies and projects under the region’s transportation improvement program (TIP) that will improve the resiliency of the system.

Related Organizations: New York Metropolitan Transportation Council

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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Cape Cod Parking Lot Removal and Relocation

Several Cape Cod towns and the Cape Cod Commission have taken specific measures to adapt beach parking lots to the impacts of climate change, including extreme storms and sea-level rise that are causing increased beach erosion.    These coastal communities are rethinking “quick fix” repairs to vulnerable parking infrastructure and are instead implementing a variety of soft and hard measures as more permanent solutions to long-term climate change impacts.   Many of the town activities were captured in the adaptation blog “Great American Adaptation Road Trip” by Allie Goldstein and Kirsten Howard, graduates of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Alaska Highway Study: Groundwater Flow, Permafrost Degradation, and Transportation Infrastructure Stability

2013

The Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, supported a research project to study the effects of groundwater flow on permafrost degradation and resulting road instability. The stability of permafrost below roadways and embankments is increasingly affected by warming surface temperatures caused by climate change, but may also be affected by heat transfer from groundwater flow. Studies have shown that groundwater flow can accelerate permafrost degradation by several orders of magnitude compared to thaw caused by heat transfer from the atmosphere alone.

Related Organizations: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Sea-Level Rise Tool for Hurricane Sandy Recovery

June 20, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed a tool that can assist communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in reducing vulnerability of transportation and other infrastructure to future sea-level rise and flood risk. The tool, which involves a set of maps showing floodplains under sea-level rise scenarios and an updated USACE Sea-Level Change calculator showing site-specific flood elevation data, helps communities understand the effects of sea-level rise on future flood risk and incorporate this information into planning and decision-making.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Seattle, Washington Department of Transportation (Seattle DOT) Elliott Bay Seawall Project

November 2013

The City of Seattle (City), through its Department of Transportation (SDOT), began a project to replace an aging seawall in Elliott Bay that protects and supports critical transportation infrastructure from coastal storms and shoreline erosion.   The original seawall was built between 1916 and 1934 atop timber piles and is at risk of failure in the event of an earthquake due to years of deterioration of the timber caused by waves and tidal forces. The updated seawall will have a minimum 75-year lifespan, provide protection for critical infrastructure (taking sea-level rise into consideration), meet current seismic standards, and improve natural habitat and salmon migration pathways.

Related Organizations: City of Seattle, Washington, Seattle Department of Transportation, University of Washington

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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