• 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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Oregon Guidance on Biofilters for Storm Water Discharge Pollution Removal

January 2003

In 2003, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) published guidance on the use of “biofilters” to remove pollution from stormwater. Biofilters include a variety of green infrastructure techniques installed along roadways to filter pollution from stormwater runoff such as constructed wetlands and bioswales (vegetated swales or ditches), among others. The guidance details the design best management practices (BMPs) that have been proven to work well in constructing biofilters, and argues that biofilters may be the “most economical” way to remove sediment and other pollutants from runoff.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Florida “Sacrificial” Roads Projects

2007

Recognizing the increasing maintenance and replacement costs for coastal roads in Florida due to more frequent flooding and storm surge, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFL), assisted the National Park Service and other partners designing specific that are prone to be frequently washed out to have minimal environmental impact. Rising sea levels and coastal storms, which are projected to increase in intensity as a result of climate change, are creating more challenges for building and maintaining transportation infrastructure along coastal shorelines.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FHWA Resilience Pilots

FHWA supported the work of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop and pilot approaches for assessing the vulnerability of transportation systems to climate change and develop strategies for building resilience in the transportation sector. Nineteen pilot projects were selected and the pilot jurisdictions worked with FHWA's Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework. This FHWA website includes the individual pilot studies for the pilot projects funded in 2013-2015 and webinars of the pilot teams discussing their work and their findings.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Washington State Department of Transportation, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Iowa Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Tennessee Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Connecticut DOT - Walk Bridge Replacement Project

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is replacing the Norwalk River Railroad Bridge (Walk Bridge) to address the current structure’s vulnerability to climate hazards such as storm damage and heat. The 118-year old Walk Bridge already experiences frequent and costly service failures, including closure failures due to extreme heat. CTDOT expects that heat-related operational failures will increase as the number of high-heat days increase with climate change.   The Walk Bridge is a “swing bridge” spanning the Norwalk River in the Southeast part of the state.

Related Organizations: Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Minnesota DOT Flood Mitigation Program

The state of Minnesota created a $50 million Minnesota Department of Transportation (“MnDOT”) Flood Mitigation Program (“Program”) to increase the resilience of transportation system after severe spring floods in 2010 caused over $64 million in damages in the state. The Flood Mitigation Program will fund repairs, elevations, and realignments to road and bridges, as well as improvements to drainage structures. Although the program documents do not explicitly cite to climate change, MnDOT lists the Flood Mitigation Program as an adaptation action that the agency is taking to prepare for climate change.

Related Organizations: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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FDOT Rebuild of Highway A1A in Fort Lauderdale

December 2015

After Hurricane Sandy washed out a segment of the state highway, the Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) and the City of Fort Lauderdale rebuilt a portion of the A1A highway (“A1A”) to be more resilient to future impacts. The redesigned highway segment includes several different features that will increase the highway’s resilience to future flooding and erosion and will also make the city more walkable and bikeable:

Related Organizations: Florida Department of Transportation, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Restoration and Relocation Efforts

October 2015

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located at the southern tip of Assateague Island, depends on parking and road facilities that are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.   Refuge managers have been exploring alternatives for responding to these impacts that they anticipate will worsen with sea-level rise and climate change. The refuge is studying alternatives to relocate parking facilities and is using oyster reefs to protect transportation facilities. Parking facilities on the island are made of loose shells and sand so as not to disrupt the natural terrain.

Related Organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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North Carolina Highway 12 Storm Recovery

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is implementing several different solutions to address frequent overwashes, erosion, and more severe damage to North Carolina Highway 12 (NC 12) following Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. These measures, intended to improve the future resilience of the highway, include bridge construction and temporary beach nourishment.

Related Organizations: North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevated Floating Bridge on Washington State Route 520

Spring 2016

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is reconstructing the Evergreen Point floating bridge, which runs over Lake Washington along State Route 520 (SR 520) near Seattle, to better accommodate varying winds and storms. The new design will be elevated, which will better protect drivers and the road from waves and storms, and the pontoons that allow the bridge to float will be designed to withstand higher winds. In its climate impacts vulnerability assessment, WSDOT has recognized that high winds could increase as a result of climate change and more extreme weather events.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Piedras Blancas Highway 1 Realignment - Caltrans/San Luis Obispo

2015

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning to realign a 2. 8 mile section of iconic Highway 1 to address current and anticipated impacts from coastal erosion and storm surge.  This section of Highway 1, which is north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in San Luis Obispo County, is already experiencing increased storm damage from flooding and erosion, and these impacts are projected to increase with rising sea levels and higher storm surge caused by climate change.  Realigning the highway away from the coast will reduce its vulnerability to current damage as well as to future climate impacts and will protect the highway from bluff retreat for the next 100 years.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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