California Department of Transportation

Climate change Links

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Current Projects and Studies

District 1 Climate Change Pilot Study (D1CCPS)

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of potential vulnerabilities of the State’s Highway System to climate change throughout District 1 (Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties).  In order to prepare for the impacts of climate change, the report also identifies and evaluates a range of adaptation options to address the identified vulnerabilities at four prototype locations.

District 1 Climate Change Pilot Study (D1CCPS) Cover


Caltrans Activities to Address Climate Change - Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Adapting to Impacts

This report provides a comprehensive overview of activities undertaken by Caltrans statewide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from our operations and adapt the State's highway system to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Climate Change Photo

Addressing Climate Change Adaptation in Regional Transportation Plans: A Guide for California MPOs and RTPAs

This document provides a methodology for regional transportation agencies - Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Regional Transportation Planning Associations (RTPAs) - to address climate change within their Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs). The manual contains background on the science of climate change and the associated extreme weather's potential impact on transportation infrastructure, best practices in planning for extreme weather, and a five-step process for identifying and addressing potential risks to MPO's and RTPA's transportation infrastructure due to more frequent extreme weather events.

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Guidance for Incorporating Sea Level Rise in the Project Initiation Document Process

The Caltrans Divisions of Environmental Analysis, Design and Transportation Planning have developed a guidance document for incorporating sea level rise into the project planning process. The documents include a technical guidance for the engineering design and a planning level document to determine what projects should consider sea level rise.

Both documents will be updated to include the sea level rise projections from the National Academies of Sciences study (above).

This guidance begins to incorporate sea level rise into the planning and design of projects vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise. The guidance provides sea level rise assumptions for the state along with criteria for determining when sea level rise should be incorporated into projects. [PDF]


National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Study of Sea-Level Rise by the National Research Council (NRC)

California Executive Order S-13-08 directed state agencies to plan for sea-level rise and coastal impacts, and it also requested the National Research Council (NRC) to establish a committee to assess sea-level rise to inform these state efforts. The states of Washington and Oregon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey subsequently joined California in sponsoring this study to evaluate sea-level rise in the global oceans and along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington for 20130, 2050, and 2100. To view the study, please click here.


East San Francisco Bay Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Study

The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) conducted this project in partnership with the California Department of Transportation District 4, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), with consultant support from AECOM. This subregional planning pilot project was conducted to test the conceptual Risk Assessment model developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to assess the climate change–related SLR risks to transportation infrastructure in a select portion of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The follow-up work (Phase Two) of this project was conducted by the same team as the Phase One effort above, with the addition of participation from the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The purpose of this collaborative partnership was to develop a sub-regional assessment of adaptation options for a subset of key transportation assets vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR) in Alameda County.

Caltrans Contact: Richard Fahey
(510) 286-5761