The potential impacts of a changing climate – from higher temperatures and rising sea levels to changes in seasonal precipitation and the intensity of rain events – are affecting the lifecycle of our transportation infrastructure. These trends, including extreme weather events, are predicted to intensify, requiring the need to plan for the possibility of events and identify how these environmental impacts can affect our safety, mobility, economy, and built infrastructure, like roads and bridges.
For example, storm surges and flooding can obstruct access to roads that lead to our homes and businesses, necessitate more emergency evacuations, and require costly, and sometimes recurring, repairs to damaged infrastructure. Inland flooding from unusually heavy downpours can disrupt traffic, damage culverts, and reduce service life. High heat can also degrade the materials of our infrastructure, resulting in shorter replacement cycles and higher maintenance costs.
While transportation infrastructure is designed to handle a broad range of impacts based on historic climate, preparing for climate change and extreme weather events like flooding is critical to protecting the integrity and resiliency of the transportation system. Resiliency is defined as the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Enhanced resilience allows better anticipation of disasters, better planning to reduce disaster losses, and faster recovery after an event.
Our Regional Flooding Assessment
Tri-County is conducting an assessment to identify flood-vulnerable transportation infrastructure such as: roads, bridges, culverts, and trails.
We are currently in the final phases of the assessment and developing the interactive flood risk dashboard. Once finalized, these project resources will be housed and available on this infrastructure resiliency webpage.
Overall, the assessment and flood risk tool will guide local communities’ planning and investment decisions to keep our roadways and nonmotorized network safe, efficient, and resilient.
Visit here for the full version of the flood risk dashboard.