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FHWA Climate Resilience Pilot Program: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT)
Created: 8/13/2018 - Updated: 7/19/2019


Extreme precipitation events have been more frequent and intense in Connecticut in recent years, resulting in damage to Connecticut DOT (CTDOT) infrastructure and posing safety concerns. CTDOT conducted a systems-level vulnerability assessment of bridge and culvert structures from inland flooding associated with extreme rainfall events. The assessment included data collection and field review, hydrologic and hydraulic evaluation, criticality assessment and hydraulic design criteria evaluation. This project complements numerous other facility assessments CTDOT has conducted both independently and jointly with other state agencies in the past as well as the tri-state Hurricane Sandy Follow-up and Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Analysis (focused on coastal assets and adaptation efforts).


The project evaluated the hydrologic and hydraulic performance of CTDOT bridge and culvert structures (six feet to 20 feet in length) located in the (primarily rural) northwest corner of Connecticut from inland flooding associated with extreme precipitation events. This information fed into a systems-level vulnerability and criticality assessment that considered the adaptive capacity of the structures to future changes in precipitation patterns due to climate change. 


  • Develop information on vulnerability and criticality that can be used to assist CTDOT in identifying and prioritizing replacement and reconstruction efforts where needed.
  • Conduct an assessment of facilities and assets in a part of the state which has not been comprehensively studied and has limited detour and accessibility options in the event of a structure failure.


State / Provincial
Sector Addressed: 
Disaster Risk Management
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Infrastructure damage
Storms or extreme weather events
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Governance and Policy

Related Resources

Adaptation Phase: 
Sharing Lessons
Sector Addressed: 
Disaster Risk Management
Transportation / Infrastructure