• 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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Chicago DOT - Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Policies and Guidelines

July 2013

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) issued these guidelines (“Guidelines”) to require the implementation of sustainability best practices (environmental and social) into all transportation infrastructure projects, with metrics to ensure that projects are designed to be resilient to the long-term impacts of climate change. The Guidelines include two components: Volume I outlines the city’s sustainability goals and the process for integrating those goals into urban infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance; Volume 2 provides specific strategies, references, and resources to help project managers and engineers incorporate sustainability principles into specific projects.

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

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Fuel NY Initiative

June 1, 2013

In 2013, New York passed a law and launched the Fuel NY Initiative, to increase the number of gas stations along critical routes that will be able to operate during power outages caused by extreme weather events or other disasters. In conjunction with this law, Governor Cuomo announced the Fuel NY Initiative, which provides funding to help gas stations meet the new backup power requirements. The law and Initiative were developed in response to Hurricane Sandy, which illustrated the many challenges caused when most gas stations lost power as a result of the storm and were not able to operate fuel pumps to dispense fuel needed for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Related Organizations: State of New York

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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New York Community Risk and Resiliency Act – Application to Transportation Infrastructure Projects

September 22, 2014

Starting in March 2015, public infrastructure projects in New York, including those that are constructed, funded, or approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), must be evaluated on their resiliency to sea-level rise and future extreme weather events. The New York state Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) requires state agencies to consider climate change impacts in funding and permitting decisions. The CRRA specifically applies to new, expanded, or reconstructed infrastructure projects reviewed by NYSDOT under the state’s Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act (SGPIPA).

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

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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WSDOT Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal Environmental Impact Statement

June 2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) considered sea-level rise as a factor in early design and environmental review for the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Project (“Project”). The Project will develop a new terminal for the Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry, which provides transportation between Whidbey Island and the Seattle metropolitan area. In the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project, WSDOT acknowledged that changing climate would impact the function and operations of Multimodal Project over the 50 to 100 year lifespan of the facility.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Maryland Climate Change and "Coast Smart" Construction (Executive Order 01.01.2012.29) – Application to Transportation Infrastructure and Facilities

December 28, 2012

On December 28, 2012, then-Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, Executive Order 01.01.2012.29, Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction, directing all state agencies to consider the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise in the siting and design of state structures to avoid or minimize impacts. The order applies to all state facilities and structures, including transportation facilities.

Related Organizations: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State of Maryland

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Engineering Department Manual - Climate Resilience Design Guidelines

January 22, 2015

The Engineering Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) produced the Climate Resilience Design Guidelines (guidelines) to ensure that new agency infrastructure and buildings are designed to account for projected changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level.  PANYNJ project architects and engineers are to use the guidelines to assess the vulnerability of projects to future impacts and to address those impacts when designing port authority infrastructure and buildings.

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Massachusetts Port Authority Resiliency Program and Floodproofing Design Guide

April 2015

In 2014, the Massachusetts Port Authority (“Massport”) began the Massport Resiliency Program to protect Massport transportation facilities from flooding hazards caused by extreme storms and rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The program seeks to better prepare for the impacts of climate change by incorporating resilience principles into Massport’s business strategy and operations. As a part of this program, Massport created a Floodproofing Design Guide (“Guide”) that will help make the built environment resilient to sea-level rise and major flood events.

Related Organizations: Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines

March 23, 2011

The Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines were developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to help project engineers and architects integrate sustainable engineering practices into the design and construction of all PANYNJ projects, which include new and reconstructed roadways, airfields, bridges, tunnels, and marine structures, among other infrastructure projects.  The guidelines are designed to reduce the environmental impacts of projects, and several of the guidelines involve adapting to climate change impacts.

Related Organizations: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

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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Washington State DOT (WSDOT) Guidance for Project-Level Climate Change Evaluation

January 2017 Update

The Washington State DOT (WSDOT) issued this guidance to assist the agency’s project planners in considering climate change impacts, which is required for all WSDOT projects subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). In addition to obligations under NEPA and SEPA, WSDOT’s 2011-2017 Strategic Plan directs the agency to evaluate future climate-related risks and identify strategies to reduce risk. The guidance provides a standard process for analysis and template language to enable planning-level consideration of Washington’s projected climate impacts.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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