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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.

Recent Work

The Climate Adaptation and Resilience Roadmap

The Climate Adaptation and Resilience Roadmap is a broad document that provides policy guidance and actionable strategies to help ODOT institutionalize adaptation and resilience. 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 statewide climate hazards risk analysis, drawing from corridor-scale risk maps of the state highway system. This information can now be used to inform project planning and prioritization by locating transportation corridors at high risk to climate hazards.

  • Find the full-length roadmap document here.
  • Read an executive summary of the roadmap document here.
  • Find ODOT's Climate Hazard Risk maps here
  • Listen to a podcast on the roadmap here
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.


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. Learn more about the project and view the online map here
Climate Change Informed Infrastructure Design Pilot Study
ODOT lead a pilot study to test a newly developed NCHRP guide that applies climate change information to assets like roads, bridges, and tunnels. This pilot tested the guidelines by applying them to the Millport Slough bridge that crosses the Siletz River. The results show that the seismic standards applied to the Millport Slough bridge are also adequate to withstand future projected flooding and scour. Broadly, the pilot made clear the essential need for improvements to localized climate projection data. 
Landslide Detection Research
Landslides are frequent hazards that affect the operation, maintenance, and construction of Oregon highways, resulting in negative economic, environmental, and social impacts for Oregon communities. ODOT worked with experts at Oregon State University to study and map landslide risks associated with heavy precipitation and seismic impacts along critical corridors. One of the primary goals of this work is detection and selection of priority areas in order to optimize resilience. 
Read the full report and appendices or explore the research summary and map

More Information


 Email Paris Edwards
Climate Policy Lead
Telephone 971-446-8861

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