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Assessing the Sensitivity of Transportation Assets to Climate Change in Mobile, Alabama

Replicability, Gaps, and Lessons Learned

Both the Sensitivity Matrix and the Sensitivity Screen offer an important step towards assessing the risks posed by future changes in climate, and identifying adaptation options for responding to these risks. As outlined above, the results from this sensitivity analysis will be coupled with a variety of complementary analyses to identify key vulnerabilities posed by climate change to transportation in Mobile County. This information will then be used to identify adaptation options to help cope with these risks.

As noted previously, the Screen and Matrix are also intended for application in coastal communities outside the Mobile MPO. However, these products are shaped by Mobile-specific priorities and do not include hazards such as permafrost and snow, or a detailed discussion of public transportation. Those issues and a few others of regional importance would need to be addressed for comprehensive applicability of this framework outside the Gulf States. While the analysis is still quite applicable to localities across the United States, each community should begin by determining its most important climate hazards and modes and the extent to which climate sensitivity information for them is contained in this Matrix. If relevant information is not included here, it must be independently gathered.

Significant benefit could be obtained by providing even more detail in the Matrix, particularly with respect to the indicators of sensitivity. More detail about these indicators would be particularly beneficial in supporting the identification and analysis of adaptation options. Some of this detail is likely to be available following the engineering analyses that will be undertaken later in this project.

It would be useful to merge the analysis conducted here to the FEMA HAZUS1 model to make the results readily available to transportation planners that use this standard disaster risk planning model.

1 HAZUS is a methodology and software that FEMA developed for estimating losses from natural disasters in the United States. For more information, see

Updated: 3/27/2014
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