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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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International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure

2015

The International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road infrastructure (Framework) was developed by the World Road Association to help the road authorities in member countries develop consistent approaches for assessing climate change effects on road networks and identify appropriate measures to reduce climate risks to transportation infrastructure.   The Framework guides authorities through a series of steps to help them assess the risks to transportation infrastructure, prioritize assets for adaptive response, develop strategies to respond to climate risks, and integrate assessment findings into transportation decisionmaking processes.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Iowa Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Report – Findings Related to Infrastructure

2011

The Iowa Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience Report identifies barriers to and incentives for incorporating climate change information into local hazard mitigation and comprehensive planning processes, in order to improve community resilience to climate impacts through coordinated planning, hazard assessment, and infrastructure investment decision-making. The report presents the findings of a pilot project between the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Iowa stakeholders, developed through a series of meetings and workshops.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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JFK Airport Runway 13R-31L Rehabilitation (John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City, NY)

December 2010

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (“Port Authority”) renovated runway 13R-31L at JFK Airport with design features that will help mitigate the urban heat island effect and better manage stormwater. The renovation project featured a number of sustainable initiatives and climate change adaptation measures, designed to reduce the environmental impact of the airport over the lifetime of the runway. A life-cycle cost analysis led the Port Authority to utilize concrete pavement in place of asphalt.

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

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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Long Beach, Mississippi Concept Plan – Oak Park

August 2006

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and significant property destruction, the city of Long Beach, MS developed a proposed comprehensive plan for the city that included a concept for a new public green space called Oak Park to buffer the downtown area from storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico.   The plan placed the park between a new roadway to the north and the coastline and Highway 90, which would be redesigned, to the south.  The plan was designed to both revitalize the town aesthetically and provide natural protection for residents from storm events.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan – Projects to Protect Transportation Infrastructure

March 2012

In 2012, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) developed a Coastal Master Plan to provide a system-wide plan for reducing hurricane flood risk and restoring land along the Louisiana coast. The Plan defines a set of coastal protection and restoration projects to be implemented by the state over the next 50 years.   Six of these projects create wetlands in order to protect sections of Louisiana’s highways. The criteria used for selecting projects consider future climate impacts.

Related Organizations: Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Maine Department of Transportation – Bridge Scour Management

Recognizing that climate change will cause changes in precipitation and stream flow, the state of Maine has taken several steps to evaluate the vulnerability of its bridges to scour and implement corrective actions to safeguard those most critical. Among the transportation infrastructure adaptation policies recommended in Maine DOT’s report Climate Change and Transportation in Maine were two scour-related goals: inspecting all bridges at least every two years, and conducting underwater inspections for scour and structural integrity every 60 months.

Related Organizations: Maine Department of Transportation, State of Maine

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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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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Maryland Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Infrastructure Siting and Design Guidelines

January 31, 2014

In December 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Climate Change and ‘Coast Smart’ Construction,” requiring state agencies to consider risks of coastal flooding and sea-level rise in state capital budget projects, and requiring the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop guidelines for the siting and design of infrastructure and other projects. Pursuant to the EO, in January 2014, the DNR-led Climate Change and Coast Smart Construction Working Group published “Coast Smart” Guidelines that provide recommendations to institutionalize consideration of coastal flooding and sea-level rise in planning and constructing all new or rehabilitated state structural and infrastructure projects, as well as state-funded private projects.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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