• 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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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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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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Alaska Repaving Roads Using Polystyrene Insulation

2013

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.

Related Organizations: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

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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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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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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New Zealand Transport Agency: SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is upgrading and elevating the State Highway 16 (SH16) Causeway near Auckland to reduce roadway flooding during extreme tidal conditions under projected future sea-level rise. The SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project involves raising 4. 8 kilometers (3 miles) of both roadway and bike path along SH16, also known as the Northwestern Motorway, by 1. 5 meters (5 feet). For this project, NZTA utilized sea-level rise planning recommendations produced by the NZ Ministry for the Environment.

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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