Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Climate Resilience

Climate change will impact the way we build, operate and maintain transportation infrastructure. MnDOT is working to better understand our statewide vulnerabilities to climate change and the most effective response to related threats and stresses.

image of extreme flooding along a Minnesota roadway

Photo above: Hwy 210 is washed out near Jay Cooke State Park. Minnesota is experiencing a growing number of mega-rain events. While the state experienced three mega-rain events between 1973 and 1999, seven mega-rain occurred in the last 17 years (2000-2016).

Statewide Extreme Flood Vulnerability Analysis

MnDOT’s existing and future assets will become increasingly stressed by extreme weather patterns due to climate change.Minnesota’s assets are particularly vulnerable to projected precipitation increases and larger and more frequent extreme storm events.

The agency is currently developing a process for evaluating flood risk to MnDOT bridges, large culverts, and pipes. Studying the performance of infrastructure under predicted extreme events will help MnDOT assess the impacts of climate changes to plan, design, build, and maintain assets for resilience. This project is estimated to be complete in 2020.

Climate Vulnerability Pilot

In 2014, as part of a FHWA pilot program in 19 states, MnDOT completed a climate vulnerability pilot study examining the effects of climate hazards on MnDOT assets in District 1 and District 6. The project developed a decision-making process to determine the vulnerability of a corridor of trunk highway based on a weighted score of three subsets of metrics (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity). The results of the pilot study established a framework for assessing vulnerability of statewide MnDOT assets and adaptation measures.


Additional Resources