• 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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City of Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan - Transportation Measures

December 2011

The City of Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan identifies the infrastructure and resources most vulnerable to climate change impacts, including critical transportation infrastructure. The plan also presents climate adaptation action items ranked by priority based on risk to the community; the replacement of Santa Cruz’s Highway 1/Highway 9 Bridge was identified as a “very high priority” action item to address upstream flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Santa Cruz, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Charles River Watershed Association Green Infrastructure Demonstration Projects

The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), through its “Blue Cities Initiative,” develops demonstration projects that feature green infrastructure along streets and in other public and private spaces, with the goal of managing increases in precipitation caused by climate change. More frequent and intense rainfall events will increase the risks of flooding, sewer overflows, and water pollution in the Northeast. CRWA has implemented demonstration projects in the Boston metropolitan area to illustrate and assess the effectiveness of different green stormwater management techniques, including permeable pavements and roadside vegetation, and to encourage replication of these strategies in other areas.

Related Organizations: Charles River Watershed Association, City of Boston, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Operational Changes to Manage Extreme Snow and Ice Events

2011

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has introduced maintenance and operations procedures for snow and ice removal in cases of unusual snow events that would limit the airport’s role as one of the world’s busiest airports.   After experiencing a large snow and ice storm in 2011, DFW could not handle the snow-clearing needs to keep the airport operating at full capacity. The storm occurred right before the Super Bowl in 2011, halting the flow of thousands of visitors using the airport for travel and bringing attention to the need to better manage severe winter storms.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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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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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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Resilience of New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) Assets to Climate Impacts

June 2012

This report assesses the potential vulnerability of New Jersey's state transit agency (NJ TRANSIT) stationary assets (rail, structures and buildings) to weather-related risks and projected climate impacts and identifies “cost-effective resilience strategies. ” While the assessment was underway, Hurricane Irene hit the state, causing $2 to $3 million in damages and losses in revenue and underscoring the need for NJ TRANSIT to plan for and build resilience against extreme weather events. The report quantifies the risks of a range of impacts to NJ TRANSIT assets given climate change scenarios over different planning timeframes (5, 10, 20 and 50 years).

Related Organizations: New Jersey (NJ) Transit

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Oregon Dept. of Transportation Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Report

April 2012

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Report is intended to provide a preliminary assessment of likely climate change impacts on ODOT assets and operations and adaptation strategies. ODOT is responsible for more than 19,000 lane miles of state highway, 2,700 bridges, thousands of culverts, and other critical infrastructure. All of this infrastructure is potentially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as increased incidence of landslides, flooding, coastal erosion, and wildfires.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Alaska Highway Case Study: Heat Transfer, Permafrost Degradation, and Transportation Infrastructure Stability

2011

The Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, has supported multiple projects to research measures to reduce permafrost thaw and the resulting impacts to roads, specifically along the Alaska Highway (the only road connecting Alaska to the continental U. S. ). Structural damage occurs when the permafrost under road infrastructure thaws. Thermal modeling demonstrates that the stability of permafrost below roadways and embankments is greatly affected by surface temperatures of roadways, and it has therefore been predicted that as the climate warms, permafrost degradation will be a major issue for the design and maintenance of roads in Alaska.

Related Organizations: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FHWA-HEP-12-010: The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments

January 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum “The Use of Climate Information in Vulnerability Assessments” provides guidance on how to access and use historical climate change information and projections of future climate conditions when performing vulnerability assessments for transportation systems. This memorandum describes several sources of climate information and technical assistance, and provides recommendations on how transportation planners can use this information as they consider their climate-related risks.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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