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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Pilots

Assessing Vulnerability and Risk of Climate Change Effects on Transportation Infrastructure: Pilot of the Conceptual Model

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration


ACTION: Request for Proposals: Piloting Approaches to Conduct Climate Change Vulnerability and Risk Assessments
June 24, 2010


/S/Original signed by
April Marchese
Director, Office of Natural Environment
/S/Original signed by
Butch Wlaschin
Director, Office of Asset Management
Reply to:


Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

The purpose of this memorandum is to request your assistance in soliciting proposals from the State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to conduct climate change vulnerability and risk assessments of transportation infrastructure. This pilot program is jointly sponsored by the FHWA Office of Environment, Planning and Realty, and the Office of Infrastructure.

In 2009, FHWA initiated a project to create a conceptual model for DOTs and MPOs to use in conducting systems-level vulnerability and risk assessments of infrastructure that will likely be impacted by climate change effects. The conceptual model is appended to this memo. The model is effectively a set of considerations for inventorying and classifying vulnerable assets, and for assessing importance, redundancy and risk. This model is intended to be applied to both existing and planned transportation assets. It is recognized that the model will need to evolve as new science and techniques become available. The pilots are intended to be a first step towards creating a more robust and consistent way of addressing vulnerability and risk to climate change in the decision making of transportation agencies.

The project would fund pilots for DOTs and MPOs to implement the conceptual model. The purpose of the pilots is twofold; 1) to assist State DOTs and MPOs more quickly advance existing adaptation assessment activities and 2) to assist FHWA in "est-driving" the model. Based on the feedback received through the pilots, FHWA will revise and finalize the model for national application.

We would appreciate your assistance in the solicitation process. We are requesting your division staff to contact their respective State DOTs and MPO contacts to encourage submission of proposals. The following process will be followed in the application, review, and award process of the pilot program:

  1. Solicitation Released
    (June 24, 2010)
  2. Completed proposals from applicants submitted to FHWA Division Office
    (Due: July 30, 2010)
  3. Division Office reviews, sends with endorsement/comments to FHWA HQ
    (Due: August 13, 2010)
  4. Review panel evaluates proposals
    (August 27, 2010)
  5. Awards announced
    (September 3, 2010)
  6. Funding transferred to Division Office for distribution
    (September 10, 2010)

More details and guidelines regarding the solicitation process can be found in the attached document "Solicitation for Adaptation Conceptual Model Pilots.doc." For assistance with the solicitation process, you may contact any of the following FHWA HQ staff:

Faiz Khan, (202) 366-5842 or
Mike Culp (202) 366-9229 or
Robert Kafalenos, (202) 366-2079 or

We sincerely appreciate whatever assistance you can provide regarding the encouragement of proposals from State DOTs and MPOs for this important initiative.


Updated: 3/27/2014
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