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Caltrans Statewide Caltrans Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment



Pathways, in collaboration with Arup and Cambridge, is leading the multi-hazard climate exposure and vulnerability assessment for Caltrans Statewide Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment. Although Caltrans completed statewide climate change vulnerability assessment in 2020, the agency developed a new project and asset management and prioritization framework that requires climate exposure and climate vulnerability information across state-wide highway system in an easier to use and more transparent format.

The new assessment, initiated in 2023, has expanded to include multi-model assets, including rail corridors and bike lanes, and critical connections to transportation hubs related to ports, airports, and transit. The assessment is also considering equity and the disproportionate impacts to disadvantaged communities when transportation networks are impacted by climate hazards and unforeseen extreme events, such as stranded communities with limited access to emergency services, employment centers, and basic needs.

Pathways is leading the exposure assessment of the transportation network to current and future climate hazards including coastal flooding with sea level rise, coastal erosion, shallow and emergent groundwater, fluvial flooding, subsidence, wildfire, landslides, and climate stressors including extreme precipitation, cold snaps, heat waves, fire weather conditions, and drought. Pathways is using best available science, including climate impacts from the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and data sets from the upcoming Fifth California Climate Assessment, including data sets that are not yet publicly available. Pathways is advancing methods using cloud computing resources to rapidly evaluate climate hazards across the entire state of California and identifying exposure at the local asset level across multiple time horizons and climate scenarios.

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