Land transport infrastructure is exposed to the effects of climate change including sea level rise, inundation and temperature changes affecting pavement surfaces.
Adaptation is the response to climate change and seeks to reduce vulnerability of existing infrastructure and systems and to adapt new infrastructure to new climate conditions. For the Transport Agency this relates to infrastructure assets close to or affected by coastal processes, flood prone areas and erosion. Adaptation also impacts on requirements for roadside vegetation, drainage and other road infrastructure design features.
The aim of the Resilience Project is to ensure that our state highway network can withstand disruptions, absorb disturbances, perform effectively in a crisis, adapt to changing conditions (including climate change) and recover quickly from disturbances.
Many of our projects already address concerns around resilience and climate change vulnerability:
The Coastal effects assessment guideline [PDF, 3.6 MB] provides a framework to assess environmental effects including climate change on and from coastal systems that may influence the maintenance, renewal, construction or management of NZ Transport Agency assets.
The Transport Agency is currently working on a project to better understand the impacts of the road network on social resilience. This social resilience project assesses the social impacts on communities affected by road closures (for example due to rockfall or flooding). The outcome of this review will be used to guide investment decisions incorporating not only economic but also social factors.
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