Caltrans to study Climate Change, says it will affect freeways

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According to Caltrans, climate change is a big threat to California's transportation infrastructure. The agency released an assessment detailing how the Bay Area's highways are vulnerable to rising sea levels, floods, and wildfires.

All caused by climate change, they say.

The last storm season brought floods, coastal erosion, and landslides costing more than $1.2 billion in statewide highway damage. About $390 million of that happened in Caltrans District 4 which is made up of San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Caltrans says District 4 has about 110 miles of bridges and roadways that are expected to be affected by storm surges by the end of the 21st century.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a press release:

“Climate change poses an immediate and growing threat to California, and Caltrans is being proactive in determining what this means for the state’s transportation system."

Caltrans employee Vanessa Wiseman added:

“Climate change in the future is going to mean more expensive damage potentially to our state highway system. Hey, if we can mitigate that, all the better. We want to make the best investment possible. Part of that is factoring in how changes in weather and changes in condition are going to affect freeways, for example.”

The agency is going to release more climate change assessments over the next year or two.

Click here to read the first report.

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