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Incorporating the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change—Guidebook (2020)

Chapter: Appendix L - Existing Frameworks Related to the Cost-Benefit Analysis Process

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Page 174
Suggested Citation:"Appendix L - Existing Frameworks Related to the Cost-Benefit Analysis Process." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Incorporating the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change—Guidebook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25744.
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Page 174

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174 During the course of research for the project, several existing frameworks were identified that are related to and support completing CBAs for climate adaptation. These frameworks are summarized in Table L-1. A P P E N D I X L Existing Frameworks Related to the Cost-Benefit Analysis Process Frameworks Objective Key Information FHWA Vulnerability Assessments (2012) Understanding the transportation system’s vulnerability to climate change Asset type and characteristics Asset criticality Asset vulnerability to key climate variables Risk (based on vulnerability and likelihood of impact) Adaptation options Ranked priorities MAP-21— Compliant Transportation Asset Management Plans (TAMP) (2013) Enabling sustainable asset stewardship and investment Asset listing and conditions (MAP-21 requires, at minimum, pavement and bridges) Asset management objectives and measures Performance gaps Life-cycle cost and risk analysis Financial plan Investment strategies (FHWA, 2016) TAMP for Extreme Weather and Adaptation (Meyer and Flood, 2015) Building resilience to extreme weather and climate change into transportation assets Record of asset performance and damage during previous extreme events Frequency and type of extreme weather events that have been experienced Projected changes in extreme events and expected impact to agency objectives, asset condition, performance, maintenance, and life-cycle management Relative ranking of vulnerability by asset category Identification of “too important to fail” and “repetitive loss” assets Reconstruction and recovery funding needs and mechanisms Table L-1. Vulnerability assessments and transportation asset management plans contain many of the prerequisites for the climate-resilience CBA process.

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Extreme weather events and a changing climate increasingly boost costs to transportation agencies and to the traveling public. While Departments of Transportation (DOTs) are taking into account changing climate and extreme weather when making infrastructure decisions, they typically are not using a formal set of tools or cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) to address climate resilience because they may be too time-consuming and expensive to conduct routinely.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 938: Incorporating the Costs and Benefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change—Guidebook was developed to try to fill the gaps identified by DOTs. It is intended to provide a consolidated resource for transportation practitioners to be able to more readily consider CBAs as a tool in their investment-decision making processes when considering different climate and extreme weather adaptation alternatives.

This report has additional resources, including a web-only document NCHRP Web-Only Document 271: Guidelines to Incorporate the Costs andBenefits of Adaptation Measures in Preparation for Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change, a Power Point presentation that describes the research and the results, a spreadsheet tool that provides an approximate test to see if it would be cost-effective to upgrade assets to the future conditions posed by climate change, and a spreadsheet tool that uses existing conditions without climate change only to calculate the new return period for future conditions with climate change.

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