Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

Climate change is leading to more frequent and extreme weather events in Oregon, making the transportation system and the traveling public more vulnerable to natural hazards like wildfire, landslides, flooding, extreme heat, winter storms, coastal erosion, and others. The Climate Change Adaptation Program is leading an "all hands on deck" effort at ODOT to improve preparation, response and recovery from climate change challenges.

What We're Working On

Take a look at our series of fact sheets to learn about recent hazard events and what ODOT is doing to adapt.


Responding to Climate Change Challenges
Adapting to changing hazard risk requires understanding and preparing for potential consequences. Looking ahead at long-term trends and being proactive is essential to support the system and its users. For example, increasing the size of replacement culverts in flood-prone areas is one way we can adapt to higher streamflow and more intense storms (see photo, below). This kind of proactive action can help to reduce transportation interruptions and infrastructure damages.

culvert2.png


















The Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Roadmap

A Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Roadmap is underway. This broad document provides policy guidance and resilience work plan, with actionable strategies that will help ODOT institutionalize resilience and adaptation. It outlines a path forward for integrating climate change considerations into ways the agency plans for, invests in, builds, manages, maintains, and supports the multi-modal transportation system. The Roadmap incorporates results from ODOT’s first statewide climate hazards risk analysis that highlights past, present and projected future challenges. The maps and indexes will be used to inform project planning and prioritization by locating transportation corridors at high risk to climate hazards. The roadmap is due to be completed in 2022.

Climate Change Adaptation Research and Resilience Pilot Projects

The effort to build a more resilient transportation system is ongoing and progress is aided by research from ODOT, its partners, and tribal representatives. ODOT’s past and present pilot projects allow the agency to test and learn about resiliency best practices in planning, design and construction before using them more widely.  Further, ODOT seeks expertise from Oregon Tribes and Indigenous groups who are the original stewards to the lands and transportation corridors since time immemorial. The photo below shows ongoing monitoring of eroding sea cliffs, improving the agency's understanding of risks to nearby transportation infrastructure (photo credit: Andrew Senogles).

Coastal Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
Research is underway to assess climate change vulnerability and related landslide, erosion, and flooding risks to US Highway 101. A primary goal of this research is to prioritize areas for shoreline protection or other resiliency measures. This research is due to be completed by fall 2022.
Climate Change Informed Infrastructure Design Pilot Study
ODOT is leading an implementation pilot for a newly developed NCHRP guide for applying climate change information to assets like roads, bridges, and tunnels. This pilot is testing the guidelines by applying them to the Millport Slough bridge that crosses the Siletz River. The results will link site-specific climate change impacts to bridge re-design options. This study is due to be completed by spring 2022.

More Information

Contacts

 Email Katherine Silva
Adaptation Program Manager
Telephone 971-375-7896

 Email Geoff Crook
Climate Policy Lead
Telephone 503-881-8358

 Email Paris Edwards
Climate Specialist




Interested in seismic resilience?
That's a different topic!
Take a look at the Seismic Design page for reports, datasheets, contact information, and more.