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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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City of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Climate Change Risk Assessment Tool

2010

The City of Toronto developed its Climate Change Risk Assessment Tool, a software program and review process, to enable Toronto’s service and infrastructure providers to identify climate change risks and assess potential actions to reduce the impacts of climate change on infrastructure. Toronto’s Transportation Services Division (TSD) tested the tool in a 2011 pilot study, examining the impacts on 90 assets and services from seven extreme weather event types over two time horizons. The TSD pilot found that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is expected to quadruple the number of extreme risk scenarios by 2050.

Related Organizations: City of Toronto; Ontario, Canada

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Sea-Level Rise Tool for Hurricane Sandy Recovery

June 20, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) developed a tool that can assist communities affected by Hurricane Sandy in reducing vulnerability of transportation and other infrastructure to future sea-level rise and flood risk. The tool, which involves a set of maps showing floodplains under sea-level rise scenarios and an updated USACE Sea-Level Change calculator showing site-specific flood elevation data, helps communities understand the effects of sea-level rise on future flood risk and incorporate this information into planning and decision-making.

Related Organizations: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience

January 2013

The International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) hosted a workshop in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy where agency officials shared strategies for operations and emergency management during extreme weather events. At the “Forum on Super Storm Sandy: Adaptation and Resilience” (Forum), agency officials who had been on the front lines of the response and recovery effort discussed lessons-learned with one another and with Florida state officials. The Forum was designed to engage transportation and tolling officials in “building adaptive solutions to climate change.

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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FHWA Midwest Adaptation Peer Exchange Report: Minimizing the Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation Systems in the Midwest

May 27, 2011

The Midwest Adaptation Peer Exchange Report summarizes the outcomes of two Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored peer-exchange events that focused on minimizing the impacts of climate change on transportation assets in the Midwest. Participants included Indiana MPOs and Midwestern state DOTs. The purpose of the peer exchanges was to identify and share tools that are available to local, regional, and state transportation managers to encourage them to prepare for and minimize climate impacts on transportation infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Adaptation Peer Exchange

June 13, 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) West Coast Climate Change Adaptation Peer Exchange gave transportation officials from western states an opportunity to learn more about climate impacts on transportation assets and plan for improved resilience. The participants in the exchange, California DOT (Caltrans), Oregon DOT (ODOT), and Washington State DOT (WSDOT), collaborated on strategies for assessing risks related to climate change, incorporating adaptation into asset management and operations, and communicating about the need for adaptation.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), ICF International

Resource Category: Education and Outreach

 

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New York State Bridge Scour Program

January 2014

New York has announced a program to upgrade 105 critical bridges across the state by repairing existing scour damage and increasing resilience to future damage from floods and extreme weather events.   The Bridge Scour Program will ensure that the essential transportation infrastructure remains safe and provides access for emergency responders during the severe weather events that have become more common in New York and may further increase in frequency and severity under future climate conditions.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , State of New York

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Emergency Relief Program: Sandy Disaster Aid Resilience Projects

2013

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) allocated $4. 3 billion of its disaster recovery money specifically for projects in the Sandy-impacted areas that increase the resilience of public transportation systems and facilities to future disasters and the impacts of climate change. Funding for resilience projects was allocated in separate tiers. First, for “locally-prioritized projects,” which include resilience improvements made in conjunction with other recovery and rebuilding projects or lower cost stand-alone projects that could be implemented quickly.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Resource Category: Funding

 

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“Reimagining New York for a New Reality” Transportation Investments

January 7, 2014

In January 2014 during the State of the State address, New York’s Governor Cuomo announced a plan to invest $17 billion to rebuild New York’s infrastructure, including transportation systems, more resiliently in light of increasingly frequent extreme weather events. The comprehensive rebuilding program includes major reconstruction of the transit system, renovations to many old bridges, a new extensive weather detection system, and creation of a fuel reserve and backup power for gas stations along critical routes.

Related Organizations: State of New York

Resource Category: Funding

 

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FHWA's Risk-Based Asset Management Planning Rule

October 24, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued this final rule to implement new planning requirements established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). MAP-21 and FAST require state departments of transportation (DOTs) to transition to performance-based decision-making, a large part of which is the development of a risk-based asset management plan. The new requirements are intended to ensure that federal transportation funding is spent more wisely, with specific performance targets in mind and in consideration of the likely costs to construct, operate, and maintain transportation assets over their full lifetime.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Dane County, Wisconsin 2014 Budget - climate adaptation funding for infrastructure

November 2013

The 2014 Dane County, Wisconsin executive budget proposal asked for nearly $1 million in funding for climate adaptation, including several transportation infrastructure improvements such as larger culverts for increased precipitation runoff. This is the first time that the Dane County Executive has included requests for climate adaptation funding in its budget. The County Board adopted the proposed budget in November 2013.

Related Organizations: Dane County, Wisconsin Climate Change Action Council

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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