MassDOT-FHWA Pilot Project Report: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Options for the Central Artery

Posted on: 5/19/2019 - Updated on: 5/19/2019

Posted by



Although the strongest impacts of Superstorm Sandy were experienced further south, that event was a wake-up call for Massachusetts about the risk of climate change impacts. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) sought to better understand the vulnerability of the I-93 Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) in Boston to sea level rise and extreme storm events. MassDOT combined a state-of-the-art hydrodynamic flood model with agency-driven knowledge and priorities to assess vulnerabilities and develop adaptation strategies for this valuable component of transportation infrastructure.

MassDOT worked closely with project stakeholders and a technical advisory team to assess the impacts of climate change on the I-93 CA/T system. I-93 is a major North-South transportation corridor that traverses Boston through a network of more than 160 lane-miles, more than half of them in tunnels, six interchanges, and 200 bridges.


  • Develop an inventory of all assets in the CA/T network.
  • Assess vulnerability of the CA/T to sea level rise and extreme storm events.
  • Investigate adaptation options to reduce identified vulnerabilities.