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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Climate Change Adaptation Guide for Transportation Systems Management, Operations, and Maintenance

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United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

FHWA-HOP-15-026

November 2015


Table of Contents

[ Notice and Quality Assurance Statement ] [ Technical Report Documentation Page ] [ Acknowledgements ] [ Transmittal Letter ] [ Acronyms ]

I. Introduction to this Guide
A. Who Should Use this Guide?
B. How Will this Guide Help Agencies Adapt?
C. What this Guide Does Not Cover
D. How to Use this Guide
II. Context and Rationale for Adapting to Climate Changes
A. Federal Highway Administration Action on Climate Change
B. What is Transportation System Management and Operations and Maintenance?
C. How are Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Related?
D. How Will Climate Change Affect Transportation System Management and Operations and Maintenance?
E. Why Do Transportation System Management and Operations and Maintenance Programs Need to Adapt to Climate Change?
F. Capability Maturity Framework
G. What’s Already Being Done
III. Steps to Adapt Transportation System Management and Operations and Maintenance Programs to Climate Change
A. How Transportation System Management and Operations and Maintenance Work Together on Climate Change
B. Overview of an Operations Adaptation Framework
C. Define Scope
D. Assess Vulnerability
E. Integrate into Decision Making
F. Monitor and Revisit
IV. Getting Started
Appendix A. Matrix of Climate-Sensitive Decisions
Appendix B. Additional Resources
Appendix C. Future Research Needs
Appendix D. Glossary of Terms
Appendix E. Sample Handout for Workshop on Climate Change Risk

Appendix F. Adaptation Checklist for Technical Staff


List of Tables

Table 1. Example of Climate-Sensitive Decisions
Table 2. Sample Template for Identifying and Recording Weather Sensitivity Thresholds
Table 3. Sources for Climate Inputs
Table 4. Example Vulnerability Assessment Matrix
Table 5. Sample Operations Objectives and Performance Measures
Table 6. Sample Adaptation Strategies and Time Frames
Table 7. Adaptation Strategy Prioritization, Implementation Time, and Urgency
Table 8. Example Adaptation Strategies and Capability Maturity Framework Categories
Table 9. Example Metrics to Track Impacts of Climate Stressors over Time
Table 10. Climate-Sensitive Decisions
Table 11. Inventory of Gaps in TSMO and Maintenance Capabilities to Address Climate Change and Future Research Needs


List of Figures

Figure 1. Illustration. Frequent Questions from Transportation Transportation System Management Operations and Maintenance Program Managers
Figure 2. Graph. Overlapping Responsibilities of Different Transportation Agency Offices
Figure 3. Graph. Weather Probability Distribution Showing and Increase in Mean Temperature and Variance
Figure 4. Graph. Involvement of Agencies in Incident Response
Figure 5. Diagram. FHWA Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework
Figure 6. Screenshot. FHWA Virtual Framework for Vulnerability Assessment (Module 2 shown)
Figure 7. Diagram. Climate Change and Extreme Weather Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) and Maintenance Adaptation Framework
Figure 8. Chart. Projected Temperature Changes under Low and High Emissions Scenarios
Figure 9. Diagram. Increase in Uncertainty Over Time
Figure 10. Diagram. Rapid Qualitative Assessment of the Vulnerability of Pavement Maintenance Program to Extreme Heat
Figure 11. Graph. Vulnerability as a Function of Adaptive Capacity and Damage
Figure 12. Graph. Risk Shown as a Function of Consequence and Likelihood
Figure 13. Screenshot. FHWA Virtual Framework for Vulnerability Assessment
Figure 14. Photo. Flooding at Spring Mill Station on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's Manayunk/Norristown in Philadelphia


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