• 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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Cool Pavement Roads in Sydney, Australia

June 2014

The City of Sydney Australia is exploring the use of “cool pavements” (i. e. , lighter colored pavement) on roads to reduce the urban heat island effect in the city.  The City is evaluating the effectiveness of cool pavements through a demonstration project in which they propose to repave 600 sq. meters of a street in Chippendale, a suburb of Sydney, with lighter colored pavements. Cool pavements are one method of reducing higher temperatures in urban environments because lighter colored pavements absorb less heat energy.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began using a variety of new materials and techniques to address drought conditions by reducing or eliminating water use on roadside landscaping following the onset of multi-year severe drought conditions in 2011.   New roadside landscaping projects began utilizing recycled water, native grasses and plants that require little or no watering, innovative water collection techniques, and smart irrigation controls. Caltrans’ water conservation efforts are designed to help meet or exceed state water use reduction goals and address growing water scarcity.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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.

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New Zealand Transport Agency: SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is upgrading and elevating the State Highway 16 (SH16) Causeway near Auckland to reduce roadway flooding during extreme tidal conditions under projected future sea-level rise. The SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project involves raising 4. 8 kilometers (3 miles) of both roadway and bike path along SH16, also known as the Northwestern Motorway, by 1. 5 meters (5 feet). For this project, NZTA utilized sea-level rise planning recommendations produced by the NZ Ministry for the Environment.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Norwegian Public Roads Administration's Climate and Transport R&D Project

May 2013

Beginning in 2007, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) conducted a major research and development project to evaluate the impacts of climate change on Norwegian roads and recommend adaptation measures to be incorporated into road design, construction, operation, and maintenance and help ensure safety and accessibility of roads in a changing climate. The project, entitled “Climate and Transport,” has resulted in revised guidelines and specifications, to better plan and design for increasing risk related to flooding and sea-level rise.

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Boston Architectural College Green Alley Initiative

October 2013

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) installed a green alley demonstration project on its campus located in the Back Bay area of Boston along the Charles River.   The green alley used permeable pavement to allow stormwater to percolate through the road bed to recharge groundwater and filter pollutants.   The project was designed to be replicable and to help with public education on the benefits and design of green infrastructure. The purpose of the green alley is to reduce polluted runoff by filtering and redirecting rainfall to the groundwater table.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Jersey TransitGrid – Microgrid Project to Help Power NJ Transit

August 26, 2013

The New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), and the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered to lead the design of NJ TransitGrid, an advanced electrical microgrid for the NJ Transit system in order to make the state’s transit infrastructure more resilient in the face of future extreme weather events and other disasters. NJ TransitGrid, which is being implemented also in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will incorporate a natural gas-fired electric power generating plant as well as renewable energy and distributed generation.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Boston Complete Streets: Design Guidelines

2013

The Boston Transportation Department and other Boston city agencies have developed Complete Streets guidelines that incorporate green infrastructure components such as permeable pavements and street trees to address impacts of climate change including increased heat and precipitation. “Complete streets” are designed to create more sustainable transportation networks by encouraging multi-modal travel options and enhancing the natural environment within the public right-of-way.  By promoting the use of green infrastructure, the City can help reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate flooding.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Highway A1A Redesign Project

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 coastal hazards. The redesigned highway segment incorporates 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:

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevating Roads in Norfolk, Virginia

February 2014

The Norfolk, Virginia Department of Public Works invested $2. 4 million in 2013-2014 to improve two waterfront streets, Brambleton and Colley Avenues, and reduce flood impacts.   To reduce tidal flooding of the roadway the city elevated and widened a section of Brambleton Avenue and rebuilt the intersection of Brambleton and Colley Avenues. Brambleton Avenue is a principal artery in downtown Norfolk that runs along the Elizabeth River and crosses over an inlet called the Hague.   The project was implemented to address recurrent flooding that was already occurring in the area, which had caused frequent road closures.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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