November 5, 2014 3:00 PM, EST

DOT Must Grapple With Effects of Climate Change on Infrastructure, Report Says

Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News

Making transportation infrastructure more resilient to the symptoms of climate change is an increasingly significant aspect of planning at the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a new DOT report.

“Transportation is and will continue to be affected by climate change,” the department said Oct. 31 in “Climate Action Plan 2014, Ensuring Transportation Infrastructure and System Resilience.”

“The range of impacts from these threats may include roadway deterioration, flooding, limited waterway access and weakened structures. Severe conditions may reduce the life of capital assets and increase operational disruptions,” the report said.

The report cited Superstorm Sandy in 2012 as an example of climate change that can damage transportation facilities. Examples of mitigating tactics listed in the report are hardening existing infrastructure, relocation or abandonment of at-risk infrastructure and adding back-ups to transportation systems.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct an analysis of weather emergencies and truck safety, the report said. State governments often waive parts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations during emergencies, and FMCSA wants to examine the effects of that on highway safety.