• 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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Assessment of the Body of Knowledge on Incorporating Climate Change Adaptation Measures into Transportation Projects

December 2013

Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), this report presents climate change adaptation actions from transportation agencies across the country, and best practices for implementing adaptive solutions. The report also discusses strategies and provides examples for evaluating the costs and benefits of adaptation.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rebuilding Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park

November 2013

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) implemented several different solutions to address damage to Minnesota Highway 210 near Jay Cooke State Park to improve the future resilience of the highway. Measures include custom culvert design, soil stabilization, and replacing culverts with bridges. Multiple sections of Highway 210 remain closed while MnDOT conducts damage assessments and develops long-term plans.

Related Organizations: Minnesota Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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.

Related Organizations: Boston Architectural College, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) Parking Lot Relocation

National Park Service (NPS) managers at Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS) have developed a plan to adapt roadways and parking areas to excessive erosion and overwashing from storm surges. This plan is in progress, and this case study will be updated accordingly. Two parking lots will be relocated away from the shoreline to reduce their vulnerability to erosion from future storms and help restore natural coastal processes. Additionally, they will be reconstructed from materials that are readily available on Assateague Island, such as clay and crushed clam shell, which will help reduce water flow rates over the parking lots and corresponding risk of erosion.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

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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NPS Gulf Islands National Seashore - Fort Pickens Ferry System

September 2015

In order to maintain cost-effective, sustainable visitor access to the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GUIS), the National Park Service (NPS) has proposed the development of passenger ferry service from Pensacola, Florida, to Fort Pickens. Santa Rosa Island, the site of Fort Pickens and part of GUIS, is susceptible to coastal storms and erosion. The Fort Pickens Road within GUIS is frequently damaged by storms, including hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The transportation system in the Fort Pickens area is particularly vulnerable to disruptions caused by these impacts.

Related Organizations: National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Sand Berm to Protect Del Monte Avenue in Monterey, California

The shoreline along southern Monterey Bay has historically been subject to strong surge during storm events. These surge conditions are predicted to worsen in the future due to climate change. Each year on November 1, the City of Monterey creates a temporary sand berm to provide flood protection for Del Monte Avenue and an adjacent bike path.   Del Monte Avenue is a low-lying road that runs adjacent to the public beach.   The berm is designed to reduce the likelihood that storm surge will inundate the road.

Related Organizations: City of Monterey, California

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 to improve two waterfront streets, Brambleton and Colley Avenues, to reduce flood impacts.   To reduce tidal flooding of the roadway the city elevated and widened 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 has caused frequent road closures.

Related Organizations: City of Norfolk, Virginia

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Caltrans Water Conservation Measures in Highway Landscaping

2014

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

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

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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