Frequently Asked Questions

How will climate change affect District 1?

The hazards brought on by climate change pose a serious threat to the state highway system (SHS) in District 1. Major flooding coupled with high tides, high winds, and storm surges impact the district’s highways along the coast. In District 1, U.S. Highway 101 is vulnerable to cliff erosion and retreat caused by flooding. Extreme temperatures and drought caused by climate change have brought some of the most damaging wildfires in the state's history. These weather events are indicators of what is yet to come as California's climate changes.


How is Caltrans evaluating the impacts of climate change on District 1?

Caltrans initiated an agency-wide assessment and planning effort to prepare for the effects of climate change. They began by determining which assets—bridges, culverts, etc.—are the most at risk each district. Caltrans then used the assessment results to create a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Report for each district. The report identifies stretches of the State Highway System (SHS) that are exposed to different climate stressors.


How will the proposed projects be prioritized?

After identifying system vulnerabilities, Caltrans will prioritize and assess the district's most at-risk assets. Caltrans also evaluated assets in the Adaptation Priorities Report for each district. Adaptation plans will depend on these facility-level assessments. Addressing the highway network's most critical assets first will help the system's overall usage.


Who is involved?

Many state agencies—such as the California Coastal Commission (CCC), the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), and the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research (OPR)—have developed approaches for judging the potential impacts of climate change on the state’s natural resources and built environment.

Caltrans recognizes there are plans in progress in District 1 and will partner with local and government stakeholders moving forward.