The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Roadway Design and Evacuation Routes in Delaware

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American Journal of Climate Change
As the global temperature continues to increase, the sea level continues to rise at a rapid rate that has never been seen before. This becomes an issue for many facets of life but one of the most impacted is the transportation infrastructure. Many people living in low elevation coastal areas can become trapped by flooding with no way in or out. With Delaware being a coastal state, this would affect a large portion of the population and will have detrimental effects over time if nothing is done to combat sea level rise. The issue with sea level rise in transportation is that once the roads become flooded, they become virtually unusable and detour routes would be needed. If all the roads in a coastal area were to be affected by sea level rise, the options for detours would become limited. This article looks at direct solutions to combat sea level rise and indirect solutions that would specifically help transportation infrastructure and evacuation routes in Delaware. There is not one solution that can fix every problem, so many solutions are laid out to see what is applicable to each affected area. Some solutions include defense structures that would be put close to the coast, raising the elevation of vulnerable roads throughout the state and including pumping stations to drain the water on the surface of the road. With an understanding of all these solutions around the world, the ultimate conclusion came in the form of a six-step plan that Delaware should take in order to best design against sea level rise in these coastal areas.
This article was originally published in American Journal of Climate Change. The version of record is available at: Copyright © 2024 by author(s) and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).
sea level rise, roadway design, evacuation routes, climate action
Palevich, J., Faghri, A., & Karakurt, A. (2024). The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Roadway Design and Evacuation Routes in Delaware. American Journal of Climate Change, 13, 69-82.