Principal Investigator: Jon Carnegie
Extreme weather and changing climate conditions are likely to affect New Jersey’s transportation through warming temperatures, temperature extremes, intense precipitation events, drought, rising sea levels, and storm surges. The impacts of extreme weather and changing climate conditions will vary by transportation mode and location but are likely to be very costly. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is responsible for establishing the policy context for transportation decision-making in the State and for constructing, operating and maintaining the State highway and bridge network. Ensuring the resilience of New Jersey’s transportation system to weather and climate threats is of paramount concern. In New Jersey, one of the most significant weather/climate threats to transportation is inland and coastal flooding, including sea level rise and storm surge. Although there are a number of resilience planning resources available in New Jersey, NJDOT currently lacks a decision support tool that can inform its transportation planning, project identification, project design and maintenance and operational decisions. The objectives of this research are to: 1) map current and future flood risk for coastal and interior floodplains, incorporating the latest science and thinking regarding the impact of climate change on precipitation, 2) create an Internet-based flood risk visualization tool that incorporates the data necessary for NJDOT personnel to locate transportation infrastructure and assets and assess their potential exposure to riverine, tidal, and storm surge inundation, 3) make recommendations for how NJDOT personnel can incorporate the flood risk visualization tool in transportation planning, project development, operations and maintenance decisions.