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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.

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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U.S. GAO Climate Change report: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision-Makers – Transportation Findings

May 14, 2013

The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that analyzed findings on the impacts of climate change on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and provided recommendations for Executive action to improve the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure. To develop the report, the GAO analyzed National Research Council (NRC) and the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) climate change assessments and reports, conducted interviews with professional and agency stakeholders, and went on site visits to seven locations where adaptation measures have been integrated into infrastructure project planning.

Related Organizations: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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NYC MTA Storm Surge Protection via Catastrophe Bond Market (New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

July 31, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sold a catastrophe bond in July 2013 to raise funds to manage flood risk to the system and offset any costs of future storm damage if the city is hit by another hurricane in the next three years. Sandy caused an estimated $4 to $5 billion in damages to MTA assets; as a result, insurance prices for MTA doubled. To finance protections from future storm surges, MTA issued $200 million in shares of catastrophe bonds to supplement traditional insurance, costing MTA $46 million a year.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Atlanta, Georgia Transit Asset Management System Pilot Project

August 2013

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) participated in a pilot program (“pilot”) that looks at climate stressors in the Atlanta region, and explores ways that MARTA may modify their asset management system to monitor changes to the region’s assets caused by climate change and help identify response strategies. Under this pilot, MARTA inventoried system assets and used climate risk modeling projections to assess the vulnerability of assets to climate risk; identified strategies to manage risks; and incorporated risk management strategies into lifecycle management plans by monitoring and updating asset records following any change in condition.

Related Organizations: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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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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Cost-Benefit Model Evaluation – Mud Bay Bridge, Puget Sound, Washington

2013

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tested a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) cost-benefit model by evaluating adaptation options for replacing Mud Bay Bridge on SR101 in Olympia. The bridge serves the community as a major corridor through Olympia and provides access to Interstate-5, the main north-south freeway in Puget Sound. Depending on the rate of sea-level rise in the region under various climate change scenarios, it is anticipated that Mud Bay Bridge will become inundated before 2100.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Orleans Evacuspots and Evacuteers Program

2013

The New Orleans non-profit Evacuteer. org installed clearly recognizable public art in “Evacuspots,” New Orleans’ designated emergency evacuation locations, to facilitate public transportation during a mandatory evacuation in advance of a Category three or higher hurricane. Evacuteer. org partners with the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to aid in the operation of City Assisted Evacuation (CAE), the city’s free, public evacuation program to assist residents without their own means of transportation.

Related Organizations: Evacuteer.org, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, City of New Orleans, Louisiana

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Transportation During and After Hurricane Sandy (New York, New Jersey)

November 2012

This report details the efforts New York and New Jersey took to prepare for impacts to the transportation system before Hurricane Sandy, and measures state and local entities took after the storm to restore service and to improve the system. Although the report does not talk about climate change specifically, the measures discussed could be used to increase the resilience of transportation systems to extreme weather and impacts of climate change. The report also details investments that state and local entities could make to increase the resilience of transportation system such as installing backup power for subway pumps, increasing the use of porous pavements in flood-prone areas, and locating generators and fuel sources above flood elevations or out of floodplains.

Related Organizations: New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), City of New York, New York

Authors or Affiliated Users: Sarah Kaufman, Carson Qing, Nolan Levenson, Melinda Hanson

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Reconstruction of Wacker Drive (Chicago, Illinois) Using High Performance Concrete

November 2012

The City of Chicago redesigned and rebuilt the iconic two-level Wacker Drive using high performance concrete to be resilient to a variety of extreme weather conditions, such as severe freeze-thaw cycles. To prevent the same deterioration that had occurred with the previous design, the city required that the redesigned upper deck be built for a minimum 100-year service life, be chemically resistant to de-icing salts and have no cracks during the deck's 100-year life.

Related Organizations: Chicago Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), City of Chicago, Illinois

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Atlantic City - Compressed Natural Gas Jitney Buses Used for Evacuations During Hurricane Sandy

November 2012

Atlantic City, New Jersey used minibuses known as “jitneys” that were powered by compressed natural gas in their emergency planning efforts for Hurricane Sandy. Because the vehicles run on an alternative fuel, they were able to continue operating when gasoline was in short supply during and after the hurricane.

Related Organizations: Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Pilsen Sustainable Streets (Chicago, Illinois Department of Transporation)

October 9, 2012

On October 9, 2012, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed the first phase of the Pilsen Sustainable Streets project, which uses permeable pavement and green infrastructure elements to address current and projected increases in temperature and precipitation. The sustainability project, described as the “greenest street in America,” consists of a two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road located in the Pilsen neighborhood. The project features will help reduce flooding, manage stormwater, and reduce temperatures, allowing CDOT to address two potential climate impacts with the same project.

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

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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