• 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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2010 California Regional Transportation Plan Guidelines - Recommendations for Adapting the Regional Transportation System to Climate Change

April 7, 2010

The California Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Guidelines provides a uniform transportation planning framework for use by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs). The Guidelines cover all aspects of regional transportation planning, with one section offering recommendations for considering climate change. The Guidelines recommend that as a best practice, MPOs and RTPAs should begin to incorporate climate change into their long-range transportation plans.

Related Organizations: California Transportation Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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2060 Florida Transportation Plan

December 2010

The “2060 Florida Transportation Plan” provides transportation planning guidance for the state, and includes emergency preparedness and resilience planning in its long-range objectives. The Plan, developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), sets high-level transportation objectives for the state, and offers implementation strategies to meet those objectives.

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Planning

 

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A Stronger, More Resilient New York - Transportation Chapter

June 11, 2013

“A Stronger, More Resilient New York” is an adaptation plan (Plan) for New York City (NYC), which contains actionable recommendations both for rebuilding the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide. Chapter 10 of the plan is dedicated to transportation impacts, strategies, initiatives, and policy recommendations. This chapter details the impacts that occurred to the transportation system as a result of Hurricane Sandy, impacts that can be anticipated in the future as a result of climate change, and strategies for increasing the resilience of NYC’s transportation system.

Related Organizations: New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City (NYC) Special Initiative of Rebuilding and Resiliency, City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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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Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Parks: Estimating the Exposure of Park Assets to 1 meter of Sea-Level Rise - Transportation Assets

May 2015

The National Park Service (NPS) produced this report assessing assets in coastal parks that may be threatened by a future one-meter rise in sea level. Over 10,000 assets were evaluated, including roads and trails, and 39 percent of assets (or $40 billion worth) in 40 coastal parks were designated as “high exposure. ” The report was intended to provide an overview of NPS' exposure to sea-level rise, but was not designed to inform decision-making about specific assets at the park-level. The analysis provides a methodology for assessing exposure of systems at a national or regional scale.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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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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Alaska Highway Study: Groundwater Flow, Permafrost Degradation, and Transportation Infrastructure Stability

2013

The Alaska University Transportation Center (AUTC) of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, supported a research project to study the effects of groundwater flow on permafrost degradation and resulting road instability. The stability of permafrost below roadways and embankments is increasingly affected by warming surface temperatures caused by climate change, but may also be affected by heat transfer from groundwater flow. Studies have shown that groundwater flow can accelerate permafrost degradation by several orders of magnitude compared to thaw caused by heat transfer from the atmosphere alone.

Related Organizations: University of Alaska Fairbanks

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Alaska Repaving Roads Using Polystyrene Insulation

2013

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.

Related Organizations: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Arizona DOT Resilience Pilot Program

August 2015

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is pursuing a “Resilience Pilot Program” (RPP) to improve data and modeling with the aim of reducing incidents of flood, hydraulic-related failure, and extreme weather damage to critical transportation infrastructure. A key element to the new RPP is a partnership with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Leveraging USGS’s resources, the RPP is currently testing new technology such as fixed-wing drone, quad-copter hovercraft and ground based LiDAR imaging to better assess the siting, design, and construction of ADOT’s assets where they interchange with rivers, stream, creeks and floodplains.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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