Identification of Physical Transportation Infrastructure Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise

Frederick Bloetscher, Thomas Romah, Leonard Berry, Nicole Hernandez Hammer, Maria Abadal Cahill


The objective of this research was developing a methodology for assessing the potential impacts of sea level rise (SLR) on Florida’s state transportation infrastructure to assist the state with transportation planning. The proposed approach integrates the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) information system, satellite imagery, local roadway and hydrologic data with existing topographical and geographical data to generate SLR projections to facilitate i) the evaluation of current and projected SLR impacts on transportation infrastructure located along Florida’s coastline and low-lying terrain areas, and ii) the identification of the physical transportation infrastructure components that are vulnerable given the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ scenario-based methodology to project the timing of future low, intermediate and high rates of sea level change. A detailed case study in Dania Beach, Florida and a comparative example in Punta Gorda, Florida were used to evaluate the soundness of the methodology. Further research was performed to develop a preliminary evaluation of the impact of groundwater levels as an exacerbating factor with respect to sea level rise. Storm surge with SLR is a future, more difficult area of investigation.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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