• 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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Sea-Level Rise: A Transportation Vulnerability Assessment of the Wilmington, Delaware Region

July 2011

This assessment was prepared by the staff of the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland, to identify the vulnerabilities of the area’s transportation infrastructure to climate change. The body of the report is broken into five chapters:  background, methodology, regional impacts, cluster (neighborhood level) profiles, and policy recommendations.  

Related Organizations: Wilmington Area Planning Council

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines

March 23, 2011

The Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines were developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to help project engineers and architects integrate sustainable engineering practices into the design and construction of all PANYNJ projects, which include new and reconstructed roadways, airfields, bridges, tunnels, and marine structures, among other infrastructure projects.  The guidelines are designed to reduce the environmental impacts of projects, and several of the guidelines involve adapting to climate change impacts.

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

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Miami-Dade County Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk

March 3, 2011

With assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center, the Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability hosted a workshop for county department staff from across all sectors to learn about potential sea level rise (SLR) impacts on county assets and processes, provide input on a county-wide vulnerability assessment, and identify opportunities to adapt to SLR and other climate impacts. The workshop employed NOAA’s Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risk, which provides communities with a framework for conducting a participatory assessment of community vulnerability to coastal hazards as well as an approach for incorporating relevant risk information into local planning.

Related Organizations: National Association of Counties, Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability, Miami-Dade County, Florida, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Vulnerability Assessment for the Saco Bay, Maine Communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Scarborough – Vulnerable Transportation Infrastructure

April 13, 2011

This vulnerability assessment was conducted by the Saco Bay Sea Level Adaptation Working Group (SLAWG), and assessed the vulnerability of Saco Bay communities to sea-level rise (SLR), flooding and erosion. The assessment looked at vulnerabilities for the towns of Saco, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, and Biddeford. This Saco Bay region contains the largest contiguous stretch of beaches and coastal wetlands in the state and has experienced some of the state’s most severe erosion problems. Although the focus on the study was on the vulnerability of the communities as a whole, part of the assessment identified roads in the region that will be vulnerable to inundation under different SLR scenarios.

Related Organizations: Saco Bay Sea Level Adaptation Working Group (SLAWG), Maine State Planning Office, Maine Department of Conservation

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Application of the Climate Change Adaptation Tool for Transportation to the Mid-Atlantic Region

December 2011

Using the Mid-Atlantic region as a case study, a University of Delaware team tested the real-world applicability of the Climate Change Adaptation Tool for Transportation (CCATT), a Microsoft Excel-based tool to help transportation agencies and MPOs assess climate impacts and evaluate adaptation options for transportation projects. The team applied the methodology behind the tool to evaluate the impacts of temperature, sea-level rise, and precipitation to the transportation infrastructure in New Castle County, DE, the focus area of the Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO).

Related Organizations: University of Delaware

Author or Affiliated User: Michelle Renee Oswald

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Michigan Cost-Benefit Model Evaluation of M222 Slope Stabilization

2011

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) tested a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) cost-benefit model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a roadside slope stabilization project in light of future temperature and precipitation projections. The road, which is located on a portion of route M-222 along the Kalamazoo River in the City of Allegan, has a slope that has already experienced erosion caused by intense precipitation and flooding.  MDOT was in the process of stabilizing the slope using structural measures, rather than vegetative or other “soft” approaches.

Related Organizations: Michigan Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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PANYNJ Assessment of the Vulnerability to the Impacts of Climate Change

April 2011

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) conducted a vulnerability and risk assessment of the agency’s critical infrastructure to the anticipated effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and increased storm surge, precipitation, and temperatures.   PANYNJ analyzed climate-related vulnerability and level of risk for a wide variety of agency infrastructure, including airports, marine terminals, tunnels and bridges, rails, bus stations, and other facilities.   The risk analysis was used to prioritize the highest risk assets and develop adaptation strategies for those assets.

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

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Identifying Surface Transportation Vulnerabilities and Risk Assessment Opportunities Under Climate Change: Case Study in Portland, Oregon

2011

Researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium developed a framework for assessing climate change vulnerabilities to multi-modal transportation systems using a geographic information system (GIS). They used Portland as a case study for testing the GIS model and provided recommendations for how the GIS could be used to develop adaptive responses in the transportation sector. In the study, the researchers focused on two climate impacts that could affect surface transportation networks in Portland – flooding and landslides - and used GIS to model hazard locations in Portland.

Related Organizations: Portland State University, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC)

Authors or Affiliated Users: Lindsay Walker, Miguel A. Figliozzi, Ashley R. Haire, John MacArthur

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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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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