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Climate Change Resiliency

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Environmental Services

The Unit supports MassDOT's goals of reducing transportation vulnerabilities and adapting infrastructure for current and future climate change impacts. Please see below for more information on our resiliency projects.

Central Artery and Tunnel Pilot Project

The Central Artery/ Tunnel (CA/T) Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment, completed in June 2015, created the hydrodynamic Boston Harbor Flood Risk Model (BH-FRM) to identify risk and depth of water resulting from storm surge-induced coastal flooding in the City of Boston under current and future sea level rise and storm surge. Based on the CA/T system's high sensitivity to flooding and little redundancy built into it, the CA/T study recommended conceptual level adaptation strategies for current and future time horizons. Please see the Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability and Adaptation Options for the Central Artery/Tunnel System (Pilot Project Report) for more details on the study, and below for the CA/T Study Mapping Products.

MassDOT is currently considering the recommendations presented in the report. However, in order to supply adaptation measures sooner, MassDOT is developing an alternate strategy to provide protection to 2030.

CA/T Study Mapping Products

The CA/T Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment team developed Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability Maps and Estimated Flood Depth Maps for the 2013, 2030 and 2070/2100 climate scenarios. These maps are not meant for design use and are provided to the public via the links below for discussion and research purposes only. The maps represent Version 3 of the BH-FRM model output and include updates in four specific areas: Allston, Morrissey Boulevard, Prudential Tunnel (I-90/MassPike) and Muddy River. Additionally, data quality checks were performed throughout the domain resulting in minor changes from Version 2. As from time to time MassDOT will update the BH-FRM, the user is encouraged to revisit MassDOT’s website for up to date information.

All users must read this disclaimer before accessing the Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability Maps and the Estimated Flood Depth Maps.

View our Frequently Asked Questions about the model for more information about the products.

Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability Maps

The Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability Maps show the likelihood that a location within the BH-FRM domain will be flooded by 2 or more inches of water encroaching on the land surface at a particular location in any given year. Exceedance probabilities range from 0.1% (probability associated with the 1000-year water surface elevation) to 100% (probability associated with the highest annual tide). Details of map development and modeling approaches can be found in the Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability and Adaptation Options for the Central Artery/Tunnel System (Pilot Project Report).

Estimated Flood Depth Maps

The Estimated Flood Depth Maps show the anticipated depth of flood water in areas affected by the 100-and 1000-year water surface elevation under the 2013, 2030 and 2070/2100 climate scenarios. While the Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability Maps above show the probability that an area will be flooded, the Estimated Flood Depth Maps provided below show depths of flooding.

1% Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability (CFEP)

0.1% Coastal Flood Exceedance Probability (CFEP)

Additional Resiliency Projects Underway

The Deerfield River Watershed Vulnerability Assessment is evaluating the vulnerability of road-stream crossings within the Deerfield River Watershed to climate change. The assessment includes analyses of hydraulic and geomorphic failure risks under current and future climate conditions, potential impacts to emergency services, and opportunities for the enhancement of aquatic organism passage. Through this innovative and multi-disciplinary approach, the study team will create a prioritization and decision making tool that can be used during MassDOT's project planning and development process. This tool will facilitate a proactive approach to upgrading vulnerable structures, in place of the current event-driven reactive approach. This project is scheduled to be completed in December 2016.

The Coastal Transportation Vulnerability Assessment is refining the state-of-the-art Boston Harbor Flood Risk Model (BH-FRM) and extending it to the entire Massachusetts coastline to identify transportation assets vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge. This project will evaluate impacts associated with the current year, 2030, 2050, and 2070/2100 climate scenarios and recommend conceptual-level adaptation strategies, considering both natural and built protection measures. The project is ongoing.

Additional State and Federal Climate Change Adaptation Resources:

For any questions or comments regarding MassDOT's work in preparation for climate change, please email

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