FHWA Climate Resilience Pilot Program: Maryland State Highway Administration

Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA)
Created: 8/13/2018 -


Maryland's transportation assets, especially those in close proximity to the state's over 7,500 miles of shoreline and numerous rivers, are exposed to a variety of coastal and flooding hazards. Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) conducted a vulnerability assessment in two counties. The project team developed a three-tiered vulnerability assessment and adaptation process using flood inundation modeling, mapping, vulnerability and risk ratings, and expert input. SHA engineers, planners, and maintenance personnel used the assessment results to brainstorm adaptation measures.


The assessment focused on two counties, selected for their differing representative locations and exposure to climate stressors (sea level rise, storm surge, and increased intensity in precipitation). Somerset County, located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, is representative of low-lying Eastern Shore counties between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Anne Arundel County, which abuts the Chesapeake Bay, is representative of counties along the Western Shore of Maryland. Both counties are considered at risk to sea level rise, storm surge, and riverine flooding.

Assets included in the vulnerability assessment were bridges and roadway segments. Small culverts and drainage conveyances were more difficult to assess, due to a lack of location and condition data in some areas of the state and the complex interdependencies within each drainage area. 


  • Assess the vulnerability of SHA's transportation assets to sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding.
  • Review and consider design strategies, best management practices, planning standards, and other ways to support the adoption of adaptive management solutions to improve the resiliency of Maryland's highway system.


State / Provincial
Sector Addressed
Disaster Risk Management
Transportation / Infrastructure
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
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Infrastructure damage
Storms or extreme weather events

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