• 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.

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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Rainscaping Iowa - Permeable Pavement Projects

2010

Rainscaping Iowa, an educational campaign that promotes urban stormwater management practices, encourages the use of permeable pavement by featuring successful installations in the state. By gathering feedback on previous projects, Rainscaping Iowa simultaneously highlights the environmental benefits of permeable surfaces and provides lessons for future installations and maintenance. Importantly, the campaign’s literature describes how permeable paving surfaces can help reduce runoff and improve water quality in the face of changing precipitation and increasing heavy rainfall events.

Related Organizations: Rainscaping Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) – Green Technologies for Reducing Slope Erosion

January 28, 2010

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Research and Innovation conducted a Preliminary Investigation (PI) to identify strategies for reducing roadside slope erosion and preventing costly slope failures as climate change alters patterns of precipitation in California. The PI found that in general, California is a leader in erosion control and stormwater management, but recommended follow-up research on the effectiveness of specific plants or “green” products that may enhance or improve the nature-based methods for stabilizing slopes that California has already begun to implement.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Green Infrastructure for Los Angeles: Addressing Urban Runoff and Water Supply through Low Impact Development

April 17, 2009

This report was designed to help the City of Los Angeles use low impact development (LID) techniques to address water quality, flood control, and climate change issues. LID is a strategy for managing stormwater runoff that uses natural drainage features to capture and filter urban runoff. From an environmental standpoint, LID reduces water pollution, replenishes aquifers, and encourages water reuse. From an adaptation standpoint, LID reduces stress on water supply and can provide shade trees, helping to reduce urban heat islands.

Related Organizations: City of Los Angeles, California

Author or Affiliated User: Haan-Fawn Chau

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Climate Change and Transportation in Maine

October 14, 2009

This report reviews the best available science on observed and projected climate patterns in Maine, synthesizes the influence of climate change on Maine's transportation infrastructure, and lists the measures the state's Department of Transportation (Maine DOT) will take to address project climate impacts. The report is a preliminary summary of Maine’s proactive approach to transportation planning that addresses climate impacts, positioning Maine DOT to receive support from federal agencies.

Related Organizations: Maine Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Houston-Galveston Area Council Foresight Panel on Environmental Effects Report – Transportation Recommendations

December 16, 2008

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Foresight Panel on Environmental Effects (the Panel) published a 2008 report informing local governments in the region of possible effects of climate change on their transportation infrastructure and recommending how to best reduce the risk of those impacts. The Panel synthesized climate change effects in the region including sea-level rise, increases in temperature, and more frequent and intense storm events interspersed with periods of drought. The report looks at impacts across both the built and natural environments, but this case study focuses solely on the recommendations that apply to transportation infrastructure.

Related Organizations: Houston-Galveston Area Council

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation: Freight Flow in Gulf Coast

2008

From the Transportation Research Board (TRB) report Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U. S. Transportation, this case study describes the transportation sector’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It focuses on the storms’ impact to national-level freight movement, highlighting efforts to reroute traffic in order to avoid long-lasting disruptions. Despite damage to Gulf Coast transportation systems from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the region experienced only modest disruptions to freight flow because transportation system redundancies allowed traffic to be rerouted away from impacted areas.

Related Organizations: Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maine Department of Transportation – Bridge Scour Management

Recognizing that climate change will cause changes in precipitation and stream flow, the state of Maine has taken several steps to evaluate the vulnerability of its bridges to scour and implement corrective actions to safeguard those most critical. Among the transportation infrastructure adaptation policies recommended in Maine DOT’s report Climate Change and Transportation in Maine were two scour-related goals: inspecting all bridges at least every two years, and conducting underwater inspections for scour and structural integrity every 60 months.

Related Organizations: Maine Department of Transportation, State of Maine

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Elevated Ventilation Grates for New York City’s Subway System

2009

New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) installed raised ventilation grates at 25 different locations throughout the city in order to reduce flooding of their subway system. Similar strategies could be used for underground highway assets, such as tunnels, where ventilation systems are at risk of flooding.

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

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Spencer Creek Bridge Replacement and Highway 101 Realignment

May 9, 2006

While replacing the Spencer Creek Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) also realigned vulnerable sections of Highway 101 approaching the bridge, shifting the highway 50 feet inland in order to avoid expected sea cliff erosion impacts over the intended design life of the bridge and highway.

Related Organizations: Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Porous Asphalt Study: “Effect of Road Shoulder Treatments on Highway Runoff Quality and Quantity”

July 1997

The Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC) studied the effectiveness of porous asphalt road shoulder treatments at reducing the quantity and improving the quality of highway stormwater runoff, compared to traditional asphalt and gravel. Out of the three treatments tested, the porous asphalt shoulders produced both the lowest volume of runoff and runoff with the lowest concentration of pollutants. The report suggests that although porous asphalt may have higher installation costs than traditional asphalt, the use of porous asphalt road shoulders may have long-term economic benefits along with safety and environmental advantages.

Related Organizations: Washington State Department of Transportation

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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