• 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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Florida Sea-level Rise Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation

October 2015

The University of Florida (UF) developed a geographic information system (GIS)-based “sketch planning tool” to help transportation planners in Florida identify transportation infrastructure potentially vulnerable to projected sea-level rise. The sketch planning tool offers a mapping function to visualize areas that will be affected by different sea-level rise scenarios based upon surface elevations and the location of infrastructure.   The tool is also customizable for experienced users to allow them to create more spatially refined inundation surfaces.

Related Organizations: University of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Arizona DOT Resilience Pilot Program

August 2015

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is pursuing a “Resilience Pilot Program” (RPP) to improve data and modeling with the aim of reducing incidents of flood, hydraulic-related failure, and extreme weather damage to critical transportation infrastructure. A key element to the new RPP is a partnership with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS). Leveraging USGS’s resources, the RPP is currently testing new technology such as fixed-wing drone, quad-copter hovercraft and ground based LiDAR imaging to better assess the siting, design, and construction of ADOT’s assets where they interchange with rivers, stream, creeks and floodplains.

Related Organizations: Arizona Department of Transportation, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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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“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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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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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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Vermont Culvert Rebuilding after Tropical Storm Irene

December 2013

Vermont experienced significant barriers to using disaster relief funding to install larger culverts after Tropical Storm Irene.   The storm caused massive damage to the state’s transportation infrastructure and warranted a presidential disaster declaration.   In the aftermath of the event, the Vermont Transportation agency (VTrans) and localities followed state regulations that required the installation of larger culverts to address increased stream flow and to allow for fish passage.   Localities, however, were denied reimbursement for these “improvements” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that administers disaster relief funding for rebuilding local roads and bridges.

Related Organizations: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), Georgetown Climate Center

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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