SACRAMENTO– As part of an effort to identify how climate change might impact the State Highway System, Caltrans is releasing three Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments that focus on the risks posed to the transportation system by wildfires, extreme temperatures and precipitation, sea-level rise and coastal-bluff erosion in Southern California.
"Climate change is an immediate and escalating threat to California and its transportation system, and Caltrans is being proactive. We are looking at where the state highway system is vulnerable, so we can address issues moving forward."
The reports cover Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties and include an interactive mapping application that shows where and how climate change is expected to have an impact.
Caltrans is committed to ensuring the long-term health of the State Highway System and to working with partners to safeguard California’s vast transportation system. These new vulnerability assessments will help guide the department toward planning and investment strategies that lessen the impacts of climate change and save taxpayers money.
Caltrans will share the reports’ data with local, regional, state and federal agencies. Together, the partners will work toward establishing a more resilient transportation system and responding to the need for actions to adapt to the changing climate.
In recent years, Southern California has been beset by destructive and deadly wildfires and are experiencing record heat waves, comparatively wet winters and more frequent mudslides. These general climate trends are expected to continue in California and the rest of the West region:
- More-severe droughts, less snowpack, and changes in water availability.
- Rising sea levels, more-severe storm impacts, and coastal erosion.
- Increased temperatures and more-frequent, longer heat waves.
- Longer and more-severe wildfire seasons.
Upon completion of all 12 assessments, Caltrans will develop adaptation reports for each region that outline how climate change will be fully integrated into future transportation decisions.
The Vulnerability Assessments for Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties can be made available upon request.