• 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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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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Maryland Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction (Executive Order 01.01.2012.29) – Application to Transportation Infrastructure and Facilities

December 28, 2012

On December 28, 2012, then-Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, Executive Order 01.01.2012.29, Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction, directing all state agencies to consider the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise in the siting and design of state structures to avoid or minimize impacts. The order applies to all state facilities and structures, including transportation facilities.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State of Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Michigan DOT I-696 Slope Restoration Project

Fall 2012

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) restored roadside slopes along approximately 9 miles of I-696 between I-75 and I-94 using alternative plants that are heat and drought resistant and will help stabilize the slopes to prevent erosion.   The slope restoration project is part of an effort to reduce stormwater runoff from roadways and thereby protect the quality of Michigan waterways.   The 55,000 plants, shrubs, and trees selected create a variable-depth root structure to help stabilize the steep slopes and reduce runoff volume and velocity, particularly during intense rain events that are projected to increase in intensity and variability with climate change.

Related Organizations: Michigan Department of Transportation

Author or Affiliated User: Michigan Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Kenai Fjords National Park – Protection of Exit Glacier Road

September 2012

The National Park Service (NPS) has taken interim and long-term measures to repair and reinforce a one-mile section of the access road to Exit Glacier, the most accessible and popular area of Kenai Fjords National Park, to address flooding damage exacerbated by climate impacts. While flooding is a recurring event in the glacial area, less predictable flow patterns and increased flood frequency due to climate change have destabilized drainage on the road. NPS worked with highway engineers to design an interim solution, using concrete barriers to keep flood waters off the road, while continuing to study long-term stabilization solutions.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Transportation Research Board (TRB) NCHRP: A Pre-Event Recovery Planning Guide for Transportation

2013

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) developed Report 753: A Pre-Event Recovery Planning Guide for Transportation, which provides an overview of steps involved in planning and preparing for the recovery of critical transportation infrastructure after a catastrophic event such as a severe storm or wildfire. The Guide was developed to assist transportation owners, operators and planners with pre-event recovery planning.

Related Organizations: Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies, The National Academies

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Prince George’s County, Maryland Complete Streets Initiative

November 2012

In 2012, the Prince George’s County Council in Maryland passed a Complete Streets Ordinance that requires officials to incorporate measures to manage runoff and increase access for all roadway users (bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. ) on public and some private roadways. The ordinance directs county officials to incorporate environmental site design into road, trail, sidewalk, and transit construction projects to ensure that stormwater runoff is well-managed and that roads are accessible to everyone.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - PATH System Resiliency and Recovery Improvements

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the substantial damage done to the infrastructure managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), PANYNJ has been repairing and rebuilding infrastructure components to make its PATH transit system more resilient to future Sandy-like storm events. The PATH system, the heavy rail (6 to 12-car trains) rapid transit system linking Manhattan to New Jersey cities and suburban communities, experienced the most severe flooding of any PANYNJ facilities during Hurricane Sandy.

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevating Electrical Substations for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has implemented projects to elevate electrical substations relied upon by critical transit systems – the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) and LaGuardia Airport in New York City – in order to better protect them from flooding during storm events.  PANYNJ is in the process of elevating two Substations for the PATH system that were damaged during Sandy and elevating and replacing an outdated substation at LaGuardia Airport. 

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience

January 2013

The International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) hosted a workshop in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy where agency officials shared strategies for operations and emergency management during extreme weather events. At the “Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience” (Forum), agency officials who had been on the front lines of the response and recovery effort discussed lessons-learned with one another and with Florida state officials. The Forum was designed to engage transportation and tolling officials in “building adaptive solutions to climate change.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Redesign of 21st Street, Paso Robles, California

2013

The City of Paso Robles, California redesigned a downtown street utilizing complete and green street design principles to better manage precipitation and stormwater runoff in a natural drainage area.   The 21st Street redesign project has proven successful as a means of stormwater management.   In a three-month period, the street’s new features, which include pervious pavement, street trees, and a stream channel in the middle of the street, helped mitigate flooding from nine significant rain events, and recharged approximately 250,000 gallons of stormwater into the region’s groundwater basin.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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