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Assessing Climate Change Impact on Transportation Infrastructure Vulnerability and Sustainability

Funding Year: 
2013
Region(s): 
North America
Research Areas: 
Climate
Sustainability
Principal Investigators: 

This project, which brings together the disciplines of structural engineering, climate science, hydrology and environmental fluid mechanics, will study the impact of climate change on infrastructure vulnerability with a focus on scour, which is the primary cause of highway bridge failure in the United States. Climate change is expected to increase the vulnerability of our built infrastructure to scour. Current assessment methods are based on existing climate conditions and dont take the increased frequency and severity of climate events into consideration. In order to better predict scour, researchers will link climate, river and sediment dynamics, and impacts for a wide range of bridges and configurations, allowing policymakers to make sound choices in prioritizing infrastructure renewal.