• 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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Adapting Vermont’s Transportation Infrastructure to the Future Impacts of Climate Change

August 13, 2012

This white paper was released on August 13, 2012 by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The purpose of the white paper was to identify adaptation efforts underway at VTrans, identify constraints on the agency’s adaptation efforts, and analyze potential future actions the agency could take.  

Related Organizations: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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SPUR Ocean Beach Master Plan for San Francisco – Strategies for Great Highway

May 21, 2012

The Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP) provides a long-term strategy for responding to sea-level rise impacts anticipated along the 3. 5-mile stretch of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and suggests recommendations for adapting the Great Highway, which runs adjacent to the beach. The strategy focuses on the protection and relocation of transportation infrastructure, including: (1) rerouting the southern portion of the Great Highway; (2) protecting and restoring the shoreline and beach; (3) reducing the width of the Great Highway; (4) repairing seaside dunes; (5) facilitating faster travel between Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach; and (6) improving bicycle paths and sidewalks near Ocean Beach.

Related Organizations: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, State of California, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), City and County of San Francisco, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Hampton Roads Climate Change Adaptation Project

July 2012

Hampton Roads, Virginia engaged in a three-phase Climate Change Adaptation Project to identify impacts, assess the region’s vulnerabilities, and identify potential strategies for adapting to anticipated impacts. Part of the assessment focused on impacts to transportation infrastructure, although transportation impacts were only one issue of many analyzed in the three reports.

Related Organizations: Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Preliminary Study of Climate Adaptation for the Statewide Transportation System in Arizona

March 2013

The Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) Preliminary Study of Climate Adaptation for the Statewide Transportation System in Arizona is intended to provide a preliminary assessment of climate impacts on ADOT infrastructure and a framework for how ADOT can begin to incorporate adaptation into transportation decision-making. The study methodology included mapping ADOT decision-makers; completing a literature review of climate science for the region and adaptation best practices for the Southwest; and conducting online and focus group surveys.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systematics, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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California Climate Action Team Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document – for use by Caltrans and other State Agencies

March 2013

The State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Document was developed by the Coastal and Ocean Working Group of the California Climate Action Team (CO-CAT) to provide guidance for incorporating sea-level rise (SLR) projections into planning and decision-making in California. The guidance provides ranges of SLR for all California agencies, including the Department of Transportation (CalTrans), to be used for risk-based scenario planning and assessments, such as long term transportation planning and vulnerability assessments.

Related Organizations: California Climate Action Team (CAT), State of California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia – Transportation Impacts

January 14, 2013

This study makes projections for recurrent flooding in coastal Virginia, outlines the predicted impacts on transportation infrastructure, and offers planning and implementation activities to reduce risks to coastal infrastructure. The report provides an overview of available adaptation strategies for recurrent flooding, reviews their implementation around the world, and identifies specific strategies appropriate for Virginia.

Related Organizations: Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Molly Mitchell, Carl Hershner, Julie Herman, Dan Schatt, Pam Mason, Emily Eggington

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Cost-Benefit Model Evaluation – Mud Bay Bridge, Puget Sound, Washington

2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tested a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) cost-benefit model by evaluating adaptation options for replacing Mud Bay Bridge on SR101 in Olympia. The bridge serves the community as a major corridor through Olympia and provides access to Interstate-5, the main north-south freeway in Puget Sound. Depending on the rate of sea-level rise in the region under various climate change scenarios, it is anticipated that Mud Bay Bridge will become inundated before 2100.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Necanicum River - Highway 101 Flood Mitigation

2013

A flood mitigation and habitat restoration project led by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) and funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) removed a levee built in the 1960s and reestablished the Necanicum River floodplain, mitigating flooding of Highway 101.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), North Coast Land Conservancy

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Reconstruction of Wacker Drive (Chicago, Illinois) Using High Performance Concrete

November 2012

The City of Chicago redesigned and rebuilt the iconic two-level Wacker Drive using high performance concrete to be resilient to a variety of extreme weather conditions, such as severe freeze-thaw cycles. To prevent the same deterioration that had occurred with the previous design, the city required that the redesigned upper deck be built for a minimum 100-year service life, be chemically resistant to de-icing salts and have no cracks during the deck's 100-year life.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Caltrans Devil’s Slide Realignment Project

2013

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) invested in an expensive relocation of the Devil’s Slide segment of Highway 1, a coastal highway linking Half Moon Bay and San Francisco in San Mateo County. The segment was repeatedly closed due to damage from rockslides and erosion. The state decided to relocate the road at additional up-front expense (approximately $342 million) to avoid the long-term maintenance costs of rebuilding the road repeatedly in its existing location. Although not specifically implemented in response to climate change, this project provides an example of how realignment may present a cost effective strategy for adapting transportation assets in the face of mounting maintenance costs from repeated damage due to climate-related events.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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