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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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U.S. GAO Climate Change report: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision-Makers – Transportation Findings

May 14, 2013

The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that analyzed findings on the impacts of climate change on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and provided recommendations for Executive action to improve the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure. To develop the report, the GAO analyzed National Research Council (NRC) and the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) climate change assessments and reports, conducted interviews with professional and agency stakeholders, and went on site visits to seven locations where adaptation measures have been integrated into infrastructure project planning.

Related Organizations: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NYC MTA Storm Surge Protection via Catastrophe Bond Market (New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

July 31, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sold a catastrophe bond in July 2013 to raise funds to manage flood risk to the system and offset any costs of future storm damage if the city is hit by another hurricane in the next three years. Sandy caused an estimated $4 to $5 billion in damages to MTA assets; as a result, insurance prices for MTA doubled. To finance protections from future storm surges, MTA issued $200 million in shares of catastrophe bonds to supplement traditional insurance, costing MTA $46 million a year.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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WSDOT Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal Environmental Impact Statement

June 2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) considered sea-level rise as a factor in early design and environmental review for the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Project (“Project”). The Project will develop a new terminal for the Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry, which provides transportation between Whidbey Island and the Seattle metropolitan area. In the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project, WSDOT acknowledged that changing climate would impact the function and operations of Multimodal Project over the 50 to 100 year lifespan of the facility.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Atlanta, Georgia Transit Asset Management System Pilot Project

August 2013

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) participated in a pilot program (“pilot”) that looks at climate stressors in the Atlanta region, and explores ways that MARTA may modify their asset management system to monitor changes to the region’s assets caused by climate change and help identify response strategies. Under this pilot, MARTA inventoried system assets and used climate risk modeling projections to assess the vulnerability of assets to climate risk; identified strategies to manage risks; and incorporated risk management strategies into lifecycle management plans by monitoring and updating asset records following any change in condition.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Transportation Elements of the City of Baltimore Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3)

October 2013

The City of Baltimore incorporated consideration of climate change in a combined all hazard mitigation and climate adaptation plan (“plan”); the plan was developed through a disaster preparedness and planning project (“DP3”).   The DP3 plan examines the vulnerability of the city’s transportation systems, including transit systems and critical transportation routes, among other vulnerabilities. 

Related Organizations: City of Baltimore, Maryland

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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Fuel NY Initiative

June 1, 2013

In 2013, New York passed a law and launched the Fuel NY Initiative, to increase the number of gas stations along critical routes that will be able to operate during power outages caused by extreme weather events or other disasters. In conjunction with this law, Governor Cuomo announced the Fuel NY Initiative, which provides funding to help gas stations meet the new backup power requirements. The law and Initiative were developed in response to Hurricane Sandy, which illustrated the many challenges caused when most gas stations lost power as a result of the storm and were not able to operate fuel pumps to dispense fuel needed for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Related Organizations: State of New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Waveland, Mississippi Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update – Critical Evacuation Routes

March 2013

The City of Waveland, Mississippi developed its Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) in 2013 to update its 2007 plan, document the city’s hazard mitigation planning process, and identify relevant vulnerabilities and strategies to increase resiliency. The 2013 LHMP added climate change as a new hazard not previously addressed, as well as several other climate-related hazards such as coastal erosion, drought, extreme heat, and flooding. The LHMP assesses Waveland’s vulnerability to the hazards identified, as well as its hazard mitigation capabilities, and identifies evacuation planning as a high priority action item in light of the vulnerabilities identified.

Related Organizations: City of Waveland, Mississippi

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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