Assessing Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on Coastal Road Infrastructure and Development of an Adaptation Framework for Climate Resilient Roads

 

SEMINAR – February 13, 2018 – 3PM Votey 105

 

Dr. Jo Sias Daniel, P.E. Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, The Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNET)
University of New Hampshire
UVM Seminar February 13, 2018
3PM Votey Hall Room 105

Abstract: A key factor in a coastal community’s ability to be resilient in the face of sea-level rise (SLR) is the integrity of the transportation network. Road infrastructure close to the shoreline is vulnerable because sea level in coastal New England is projected to rise by 3.9 to 6.6 feet by the year 2100. Climate change vulnerability and adaptation studies have primarily focused on surface-water flooding from sea-level rise; however, groundwater is projected to rise with sea-level rise and to intersect the unbound layers of coastal-road infrastructure reducing the pavement service life. Groundwater modeling in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region shows that SLR-induced groundwater rise will occur three to four times farther inland than surface-water flooding, potentially impacting about a quarter of the region’s roads. Typical pavement profiles in several roadway functional classifications are analyzed using multi-layer elastic theory to determine the magnitude of fatigue and rutting-life reduction expected from sea-level rise. Various adaptation alternatives in terms of pavement layer materials and thicknesses are evaluated to determine adaptation feasibility and costs to maintain the designed service life using a top-down scenariobased approach. A hybrid bottom-up/top-down framework for designing a climate-ready coastal road will also be presented.
This seminar is sponsored by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) at the
UVM TRC.

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