• 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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Toward Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document

January 2015

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guide, “Toward Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document,” synthesizes current knowledge on pavement system sustainability, including the effects that pavement has on climate-related considerations such as stormwater runoff and the urban heat island effect. The guide includes information and extensive synopses of current research on how pavement materials, design, construction, maintenance, and other use considerations can affect and enhance sustainability.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act – Application to Transportation Infrastructure Projects

September 22, 2014

Starting in March 2015, public infrastructure projects in New York, including those that are constructed, funded, or approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), must be evaluated on their resiliency to sea-level rise and future extreme weather events. The New York state Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) requires state agencies to consider climate change impacts in funding and permitting decisions. The CRRA specifically applies to new, expanded, or reconstructed infrastructure projects reviewed by NYSDOT under the state’s Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act (SGPIPA).

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), State of New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Danish Road Directorate - Blue Spot Analysis

September 2014

The Danish Road Directorate (DRD) developed a Blue Spot Analysis to identify roadways vulnerable to flooding under present conditions and future climate projections and to inform its climate change adaptation response. A “Blue Spot” is a section of road where there is both a high risk of flooding and significant consequences from flooding. Road flooding is the primary climate adaptation challenge for Denmark and is the focus of the DRD’s climate adaptation planning.   The DRD’s strategy to adapt to road flooding is to manage flooding that occurs, improve roads when financially feasible, and to prevent climate-related impacts whenever possible.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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New York’s Expanded USGS StreamStats Tool

December 2015

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a web-based application that operates in conjunction with the existing StreamStats application for New York State to incorporate projected precipitation changes under various 21st century climate change scenarios. This application will allow transportation planners and engineers to explore how climate change may affect high flows, which can assist with the design of over-water infrastructure (such as culverts and bridges) to accommodate these changes.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Elevated Floating Bridge on Washington State Route 520

Spring 2016

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is reconstructing the Evergreen Point floating bridge, which runs over Lake Washington along State Route 520 (SR 520) near Seattle, to better accommodate varying winds and storms. The new design will be elevated, which will better protect drivers and the road from waves and storms, and the pontoons that allow the bridge to float will be designed to withstand higher winds. In its climate impacts vulnerability assessment, WSDOT has recognized that high winds could increase as a result of climate change and more extreme weather events.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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The City of Lewes, Delaware Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Action Plan - Transportation Components

June 2011

In 2011, the City of Lewes, Delaware undertook a pilot project to develop a unified Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Action Plan, which considers the City’s vulnerability to climate change, particularly sea-level rise, and includes an evaluation of the vulnerability of roads and critical evacuation routes.   

Related Organizations: Delaware Sea Grant, University of Delaware, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation Strategies into New York State Department of Transportation’s Operations: Final Report

October 31, 2011

This report was prepared for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to help them identify the vulnerabilities of the state’s transportation system as well as opportunities to adapt the system and mainstream adaptation into the transportation decision making process. The report is divided into five chapters: an introduction, a discussion of climate change and its intersection with transportation in New York State, a vulnerability and impact assessment, a discussion of adaptation strategies and best practices, recommendation for mainstreaming those strategies into NYSDOT operation, and a communications and technology transfer plan.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , Columbia University, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Federal Triangle Stormwater Study

October 2011

The Federal Triangle Stormwater Drainage study analyzed the causes of a 2006 flood event that put the Federal Triangle Area of Washington D. C. under up to 3 feet of water, including several major traffic arteries, tunnels, and subway stations. The Study analyzes possible alternatives to reducing the risk of interior drainage flooding, including permeable pavements and other Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. In considering the causes of flooding in the area, the Study uses the 200-year flood as a proxy for assessing how climate change may increase flood risks and the frequency of severe storm events.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report – Transportation Strategies

September 2011

The Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report provides an assessment of impacts to key infrastructure assets across the state, and presents specific strategies for building the resilience and adaptive capacity of the transportation sector. The report describes the process, principles, findings, and recommendations of the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee, and begins the identification and development of adaptation strategies for the state. The ‘Key Infrastructure’ chapter discusses specific vulnerabilities and impacts anticipated for the transportation sector that could result from climate change, and outlines no regret, short-term, and long-term strategies to help increase resilience, decrease vulnerabilities, and better prepare for a changing climate.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and Google Real-Time Road Closure Maps

September 2011

The Google Crisis Response Team and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) partnered to develop a real-time road closure map for Vermont in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. This tool provided information on the location and severity of damaged infrastructure so that state government agencies and the public could safely and efficiently navigate Vermont’s roads, and manage the damage in the aftermath of the storm.

Related Organizations: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), Google.org

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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