Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization: Transportation Asset Climate Change Risk Assessment Project

SSFM International
Created: 1/22/2014 -


The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) was selected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as one of five pilots nationwide to perform and evaluate a risk assessment of climate change on important transportation assets. The conceptual model shown below defines a method of integrating an inventory of assets with climate information and determining how vulnerable the asset is from two dimensions: the impact to the asset itself and, importantly, the socioeconomic consequences of that impact.

While the bulk of this report addresses the outcomes of the vulnerability assessment of specific assets, it is important to place those findings in the context of the work that was done in three stages.

  1. Understand climate change factors as they apply specifically to Oahu and, more generally, to island environments in the Pacific Ocean, over time. Given the climate data available and the evolving state of climate science understanding, the years 2050 and 2100 were defined as the time horizons for consideration. A baseline of 1970‐ 2000 was set as the measure against which future years’ impacts would be evaluated.
  2. Conduct a two‐ day workshop to bring together both the climate science community and key planners and engineers from the City and County of Honolulu, State of Hawaii, Federal Highway Administration, and private industry to identify a set of transportation assets that may be particularly at risk due to climate change. The outcome of this workshop established a total of five assets that – if impacted adversely by climate change – have potentially high socioeconomic consequences to Oahu and the state of Hawaii.
  3. Analyze the vulnerability of the selected assets based on the climate stressors that were identified during the workshop.

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides stewardship over the construction, maintenance and preservation of the Nation’s highways, bridges and tunnels. FHWA also conducts research and provides technical assistance to state and local agencies in an effort to improve safety, mobility, and livability, and to encourage innovation.


Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Infrastructure damage
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Sociopolitical Setting
Hawaii & Pacific Islands