Managed Retreat To Address Extreme Weather, Natural Hazards, and Climate Impacts

Transportation agencies face adverse impacts from extreme weather and other climate events. Projections suggest this trend will continue. Impacts to transportation infrastructure from such events can cause immediate or longer-term changes in the way people use local infrastructure and where they choose to permanently locate or relocate. State and local governments have allowed development in high-risk areas, requiring ongoing investment from transportation agencies to repeatedly repair or maintain such assets. Such development can also exacerbate risks in neighboring areas if they displace natural protections such as wetlands or greenspace. State departments of transportation (DOTs) have financial and operational responsibility for these assets as their exposures increase. Managed retreat—movement of assets and people away from risks—includes evaluation of alternative routes, structures, contexts, potential disinvestments, abandonment, and other considerations to more efficiently use transportation funding while preserving critical access to people, freight, and emergency services. Embedded in these decisions are social justice issues to consider and it requires a complex understanding of place attachment (person-to-place bond), the community in which the transportation system exists, the interconnectedness of the infrastructure at issue with other systems and people, and whether laws and regulations authorize a state DOT to make managed retreat decisions. Successful managed retreat approaches can decrease risk to the entire system, save resources, support communities, and protect lives. The research objective is to develop a managed retreat framework and guide for state DOTs to address extreme weather, natural hazards, and climate impacts that consider equity, land use, and community needs.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-33

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, Camille

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hammond, Paula

  • Start Date: 20240513
  • Expected Completion Date: 20270512
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01847454
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-33
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 27 2022 11:58AM