Using Climate and Weather Data to Support Regional Vulnerability Screening Assessments of Transportation Infrastructure
Extreme weather and climate change can have a significant impact on all types of infrastructure and assets, regardless of location, with the potential for human casualties, physical damage to assets, disruption of operations, economic and community distress, and environmental degradation. This paper describes a methodology for using extreme weather and climate data to identify climate-related risks and to quantify the potential impact of extreme weather events on certain types of transportation infrastructure as part of a vulnerability screening assessment. This screening assessment can be especially useful when a large number of assets or large geographical areas are being studied, with the results enabling planners and asset managers to undertake a more detailed assessment of vulnerability on a more targeted number of assets or locations. The methodology combines climate, weather, and impact data to identify vulnerabilities to a range of weather and climate related risks over a multi-decadal planning period. The paper applies the methodology to perform an extreme weather and climate change vulnerability screening assessment on transportation infrastructure assets for the State of Tennessee. This paper represents the results of one of the first efforts at spatial vulnerability assessments of transportation infrastructure and provides important insights for any organization considering the impact of climate and weather events on transportation or other critical infrastructure systems.
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