Developing an Adaptation Framework

Categorized Under: Climate, Transportation



ICF International currently provides technical and administrative support to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Planning on climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. ICF developed the FHWA framework for analyzing climate- and weather-related impacts on highway infrastructure and for incorporating risk management approaches into all aspects of highway management. The framework was chosen as the basis for a series of five FHWA adaptation pilot projects. ICF provided support to all five pilots, including guidance on assessing criticality, interpreting and applying climate data, and leading the development of a community of practice among pilots through a series of webinars, pilot peer exchanges, and a project portal.

Based on the lessons learned during the pilot phase, combined with practical lessons learned in Mobile as part of the Gulf Coast Study, ICF recommended revisions to the FHWA framework. During the course of the FHWA pilots, other agencies—including the Federal Transit Agency (FTA)—started using the FHWA framework as the basis for their first set of adaptation pilots, awarded in early 2012.

Also for FHWA, ICF reviewed and synthesized relevant global climate change and climatological studies to assess the risk of climate change to U.S. transportation infrastructure. This review and synthesis resulted in an "effects typology" for the analysis of risk.

In addition, ICF provided strategic support to FHWA in the development of an agencywide adaptation plan and assisted FHWA in planning and holding the first peer exchange on adaptation with participants from state departments of transportation across the country. The peer exchange was designed to present the state of knowledge on climate change impacts and adaptation most relevant to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) planning and operations and to exchange information on needs at the state level regarding climate change adaptation. ICF completed three additional peer exchanges related to climate change adaptation and transportation for FHWA.

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Insight Details

Client: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

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