• 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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Transportation During and After Hurricane Sandy (New York, New Jersey)

November 2012

This report details the efforts New York and New Jersey took to prepare for impacts to the transportation system before Hurricane Sandy, and measures state and local entities took after the storm to restore service and to improve the system. Although the report does not talk about climate change specifically, the measures discussed could be used to increase the resilience of transportation systems to extreme weather and impacts of climate change. The report also details investments that state and local entities could make to increase the resilience of transportation system such as installing backup power for subway pumps, increasing the use of porous pavements in flood-prone areas, and locating generators and fuel sources above flood elevations or out of floodplains.

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

Authors or Affiliated Users: Sarah Kaufman, Carson Qing, Nolan Levenson, Melinda Hanson

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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Atlantic City - Compressed Natural Gas Jitney Buses Used for Evacuations During Hurricane Sandy

November 2012

Atlantic City, New Jersey used minibuses known as “jitneys” that were powered by compressed natural gas in their emergency planning efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Because the vehicles run on an alternative fuel, they were able to continue operating when gasoline was in short supply during and after the hurricane.

Related Organizations: Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Pilsen Sustainable Streets (Chicago, Illinois Department of Transporation)

October 9, 2012

On October 9, 2012, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed the first phase of the Pilsen Sustainable Streets project, which uses permeable pavement and green infrastructure elements to address current and projected increases in temperature and precipitation. The sustainability project, described as the “greenest street in America,” consists of a two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road located in the Pilsen neighborhood. The project features will help reduce flooding, manage stormwater, and reduce temperatures, allowing CDOT to address two potential climate impacts with the same project.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Preparing for Tomorrow’s High Tide: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the State of Delaware – Transportation Infrastructure

July 2012

This Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment describes and quantifies impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) on 79 resources in Delaware, including transportation resources. The Assessment discusses projections of SLR for Delaware, defines the method used to determine potential vulnerability to SLR, and provides analysis of each resource category. Among these resources, the Assessment addresses Delaware’s transportation infrastructure, including railroad lines, roads and bridges, and the Port of Wilmington.

Related Organizations: State of Delaware, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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