• 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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Alaska Repaving Roads Using Polystyrene Insulation

2013

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) is rebuilding portions of roads in the northern regions of the state using a thick layer of insulation under the pavement in order to help prevent the thaw of underlying permafrost caused by heat transfer. Thawing permafrost, exacerbated by increasing average annual temperatures and heat transfer from paved roads, has caused structural instability to roadway infrastructure and buildings in Alaska. Portions of Goldstream Road near Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway further north are both being replaced with insulation board to ensure thermal stability of the roads with increasing temperatures under climate change scenarios.

Related Organizations: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New Zealand Transport Agency: SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is upgrading and elevating the State Highway 16 (SH16) Causeway near Auckland to reduce roadway flooding during extreme tidal conditions under projected future sea-level rise. The SH16 Causeway Upgrade Project involves raising 4. 8 kilometers (3 miles) of both roadway and bike path along SH16, also known as the Northwestern Motorway, by 1. 5 meters (5 feet). For this project, NZTA utilized sea-level rise planning recommendations produced by the NZ Ministry for the Environment.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Norwegian Public Roads Administration's Climate and Transport R&D Project

May 2013

Beginning in 2007, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) conducted a major research and development project to evaluate the impacts of climate change on Norwegian roads and recommend adaptation measures to be incorporated into road design, construction, operation, and maintenance and help ensure safety and accessibility of roads in a changing climate. The project, entitled “Climate and Transport,” has resulted in revised guidelines and specifications, to better plan and design for increasing risk related to flooding and sea-level rise.

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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Confusion Hill Bypass in Mendocino County, California

2009

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) completed the Confusion Hill Bypass project to reduce the vulnerability of Highway 101 in Northern California to landslides. Between 1996 and 2003, Caltrans spent a total of $14 million repairing and maintaining a 2-mile stretch of the highway. In the winter of 2002/2003, Highway 101 was closed 10 times due to landslides. Caltrans identified landslides and flooding as constant challenges in Caltrans District 1, which includes Confusion Hill in Mendocino County.

Related Organizations: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Rebuild by Design: Commercial Corridor Resiliency Project Proposal -- Transportation Elements

June 2014

The proposed Commercial Corridor Resiliency Project included an element designed to improve the resiliency of a Queens, New York subway station by elevating the platform at Far Rockaway. The project proposal was developed and was selected as a finalist as part of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rebuild by Design Competition by the design team HR&A/Cooper Robertson. This proposal shows how the impacts of climate change like flooding can be addressed through elevating critical infrastructure while expanding access to commercial hubs.

Related Organizations: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New York State DOT Transportation Asset Management Plan

May 2014

New York State’s Transportation Asset Management Plan (TAMP) outlines an investment strategy, framework and process to preserve and manage the multimodal transportation assets in New York State, and identifies climate change as a key risk to the state's highway and bridge assets and New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT's) ability to manage those assets effectively. At a high level, the TAMP also identifies climate-related impacts to the transportation system, and outlines strategies the state can take to mitigate the risk.

Related Organizations: New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT)

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Savannah, Georgia Region's Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan

August 2014

The Coastal Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (CORE MPO) adopted the Total Mobility Plan: 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (“plan”) to help guide officials responsible for planning and preparing Chatham County-Savannah infrastructure for changes the region will see in the upcoming decades, including the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. Required by federal law to be updated every five years, the plan updates the region’s 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and puts a greater emphasis on sustainability, complete streets, context-sensitive design and non-motorized transportation options.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s Plan 2040: A Shared Vision for Sustainable Growth

September 4, 2013

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) Regional Transportation Plan (Plan 2040) looks at strategies for incorporating climate change resilience throughout the entire transportation system. Chapter 2. 5 of the plan discusses “Resiliency and Climate Adaptation Strategies” for the NYMTC region. Plan 2040 reviews the NYMTC region’s jurisdictions to identify vulnerability assessments and resiliency plans, establish common goals, and make recommendations for strategies and projects under the region’s transportation improvement program (TIP) that will improve the resiliency of the system.

Related Organizations: New York Metropolitan Transportation Council

Resource Category: Planning

 

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A Stronger, More Resilient New York - Transportation Chapter

June 11, 2013

“A Stronger, More Resilient New York” is an adaptation plan (Plan) for New York City (NYC), which contains actionable recommendations both for rebuilding the communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide. Chapter 10 of the plan is dedicated to transportation impacts, strategies, initiatives, and policy recommendations. This chapter details the impacts that occurred to the transportation system as a result of Hurricane Sandy, impacts that can be anticipated in the future as a result of climate change, and strategies for increasing the resilience of NYC’s transportation system.

Related Organizations: New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City (NYC) Special Initiative of Rebuilding and Resiliency, City of New York, New York

Resource Category: Planning

 

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