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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Assessing Infrastructure Climate Change Vulnerability and Impacts and Promoting Resilience

A road closed sign in front of a flooded roadway
Extreme weather: road closed due to flooding (jayfish/123rf photo)

Much of the U.S. transportation network is aging and unable to handle current weather and climatic conditions effectively. Within the next 15 years, the U.S. is projected to experience increases in average temperatures, heat waves, and extreme weather events, such as heavy precipitation. These changes are already impacting transportation infrastructure across the country: tunnels, culverts, roads, and transit stations have been rendered inoperable and are being damaged during flooding events and pavement and rails are buckling from rising temperatures.

Fortunately, there are steps that agencies and communities can take to prevent and prepare for these projected issues. The U.S. DOT Volpe Center has a long-standing interest in vulnerability /risk assessments for transportation assets and in the development and evaluation of resilient transportation systems. For example, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center is currently assessing the economic impacts and risk consequences of system-wide transportation disruptions due to coastal flooding in Hampton Roads, Virginia, to help local stakeholders consider and prioritize possible resilience strategies.

Research and Reports

Last updated: Thursday, June 16, 2022