• 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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Adapting Vermont’s Transportation Infrastructure to the Future Impacts of Climate Change

August 13, 2012

This white paper was released on August 13, 2012 by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The purpose of the white paper was to identify adaptation efforts underway at VTrans, identify constraints on the agency’s adaptation efforts, and analyze potential future actions the agency could take.  

Related Organizations: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Necanicum River - Highway 101 Flood Mitigation

2013

A flood mitigation and habitat restoration project led by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) and funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) removed a levee built in the 1960s and reestablished the Necanicum River floodplain, mitigating flooding of Highway 101.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), North Coast Land Conservancy

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Michigan DOT I-696 Slope Restoration Project

Fall 2012

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) restored roadside slopes along approximately 9 miles of I-696 between I-75 and I-94 using alternative plants that are heat and drought resistant and will help stabilize the slopes to prevent erosion.   The slope restoration project is part of an effort to reduce stormwater runoff from roadways and thereby protect the quality of Michigan waterways.   The 55,000 plants, shrubs, and trees selected create a variable-depth root structure to help stabilize the steep slopes and reduce runoff volume and velocity, particularly during intense rain events that are projected to increase in intensity and variability with climate change.

Related Organizations: Michigan Department of Transportation

Author or Affiliated User: Michigan Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Kenai Fjords National Park – Protection of Exit Glacier Road

September 2012

The National Park Service (NPS) has taken interim and long-term measures to repair and reinforce a one-mile section of the access road to Exit Glacier, the most accessible and popular area of Kenai Fjords National Park, to address flooding damage exacerbated by climate impacts. While flooding is a recurring event in the glacial area, less predictable flow patterns and increased flood frequency due to climate change have destabilized drainage on the road. NPS worked with highway engineers to design an interim solution, using concrete barriers to keep flood waters off the road, while continuing to study long-term stabilization solutions.

Related Organizations: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Park Service (NPS)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - PATH System Resiliency and Recovery Improvements

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the substantial damage done to the infrastructure managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), PANYNJ has been repairing and rebuilding infrastructure components to make its PATH transit system more resilient to future Sandy-like storm events. The PATH system, the heavy rail (6 to 12-car trains) rapid transit system linking Manhattan to New Jersey cities and suburban communities, experienced the most severe flooding of any PANYNJ facilities during Hurricane Sandy.

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

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevating Electrical Substations for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has implemented projects to elevate electrical substations relied upon by critical transit systems – the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) and LaGuardia Airport in New York City – in order to better protect them from flooding during storm events.  PANYNJ is in the process of elevating two Substations for the PATH system that were damaged during Sandy and elevating and replacing an outdated substation at LaGuardia Airport. 

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

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Boston Complete Streets: Design Guidelines

2013

The Boston Transportation Department and other Boston city agencies have developed Complete Streets guidelines that incorporate green infrastructure components such as permeable pavements and street trees to address impacts of climate change including increased heat and precipitation. “Complete streets” are designed to create more sustainable transportation networks by encouraging multi-modal travel options and enhancing the natural environment within the public right-of-way.  By promoting the use of green infrastructure, the City can help reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate flooding.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, Boston Transportation Department

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Redesign of 21st Street, Paso Robles, California

2013

The City of Paso Robles, California redesigned a downtown street utilizing complete and green street design principles to better manage precipitation and stormwater runoff in a natural drainage area.   The 21st Street redesign project has proven successful as a means of stormwater management.   In a three-month period, the street’s new features, which include pervious pavement, street trees, and a stream channel in the middle of the street, helped mitigate flooding from nine significant rain events, and recharged approximately 250,000 gallons of stormwater into the region’s groundwater basin.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Caltrans Devil’s Slide Realignment Project

2013

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) invested in an expensive relocation of the Devil’s Slide segment of Highway 1, a coastal highway linking Half Moon Bay and San Francisco in San Mateo County. The segment was repeatedly closed due to damage from rockslides and erosion. The state decided to relocate the road at additional up-front expense (approximately $342 million) to avoid the long-term maintenance costs of rebuilding the road repeatedly in its existing location. Although not specifically implemented in response to climate change, this project provides an example of how realignment may present a cost effective strategy for adapting transportation assets in the face of mounting maintenance costs from repeated damage due to climate-related events.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation Strategies into New York State Department of Transportation’s Operations: Final Report

October 31, 2011

This report was prepared for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to help them identify the vulnerabilities of the state’s transportation system as well as opportunities to adapt the system and mainstream adaptation into the transportation decision making process. The report is divided into five chapters: an introduction, a discussion of climate change and its intersection with transportation in New York State, a vulnerability and impact assessment, a discussion of adaptation strategies and best practices, recommendation for mainstreaming those strategies into NYSDOT operation, and a communications and technology transfer plan.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) , Columbia University, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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