• 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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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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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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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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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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Surfer’s Point Managed Retreat Project – Relocation of Transportation Facilities

The Surfer’s Point Managed Shoreline Retreat Project involved the relocation of a bike path and parking lot along 1,800 feet of shoreline in City of San Buenaventura, Ventura County. The transportation assets affected by the project include a damaged bike path, a 223-space parking lot for the Ventura County Fairgrounds, and Shoreline Drive.  Surfer’s Point is a beach and popular surf break at mouth of the Ventura River. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Edmonston, Maryland Green Streets Project

2010

Edmonston, a small town near Washington DC in Prince George’s County, MD, created a “green street” to address previous problems with flooding on Decatur Street near the Anacostia River. The town wanted to better manage that flooding and improve water quality, as well as to manage traffic by narrowing the street.   The project utilizes a variety of green infrastructure tools to reduce stormwater runoff, thereby decreasing the amount of polluted water that enters the Anacostia River.   While the project does not specifically reference climate change as a motivation, the methodology and considerations for this project, could be useful for a jurisdiction that will experience heavier precipitation due to climate change.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Winslow Way Street Redesign (Bainbridge Island, WA)

2011

The City of Bainbridge Island redesigned its main downtown street to update aging water infrastructure, improve walkability and multimodal uses, and better manage stormwater using more natural and vegetated solutions. The new design is more walkable and accessible, supports biking, better manages stormwater with green infrastructure practices, and encourages social cohesion through smart design. Over half a mile in length, this innovative redesign protects street trees and incorporates stormwater planters, rain gardens, and other methods to retain stormwater and prevent flooding.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chicago Green Alley Handbook

2010

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) authored the Green Alley Handbook to encourage the use of best management practices (BMPs) in and around Chicago alleyways and to address impacts to the city’s infrastructure likely to result from projected increases in precipitation and temperature. The handbook promotes sustainable alley design and adjacent landscaping practices to help reduce flooding and manage stormwater, reduce urban heat, promote recycling, and conserve energy.  

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rainscaping Iowa - Permeable Pavement Projects

2010

Rainscaping Iowa, an educational campaign that promotes urban stormwater management practices, encourages the use of permeable pavement by featuring successful installations in the state. By gathering feedback on previous projects, Rainscaping Iowa simultaneously highlights the environmental benefits of permeable surfaces and provides lessons for future installations and maintenance. Importantly, the campaign’s literature describes how permeable paving surfaces can help reduce runoff and improve water quality in the face of changing precipitation and increasing heavy rainfall events.

Related Organizations: Rainscaping Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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