Climate Adaptation for Resource Roads

Climate change impacts result in significant damages to resource road infrastructure, which can be disruptive to road access and costly to repair. One example is recent storm damage on resource roads. Although storms are a normal occurrence, climate change has caused storm events to happen more frequently with increased intensity.

Adapting Resource Road Infrastructure to Climate Change FPInnovations December 2017

This paper aims to introduce the concepts of climate change adaptation for resource roads, specifically:

• Outlines the needs and challenges of climate change adaptation,

• Introduces the approaches for assessing for risk and vulnerability, and

  • Offers solutions and best management practices for resource road adaptation

Pilot Project

The B.C. government, in collaboration with Sea-to-Sky Resource District, has taken on a climate adaptation project with a focus on resource road infrastructure. This project utilizes a climate adaptation assessment process developed by the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC). PIEVC protocol provides a structured methodology for assessing infrastructure for climate change vulnerability so that modifications to processes and procedures can be identified in planning, design, maintenance and implementation.

The pilot project consisted of applying the PIEVC protocol to a specific segment of road, the In-SHUCK-ch Forest Service Road (FSR) in the Coast Area. The methodology is roughly as follows:

  1. Identify road infrastructure elements
  2. Consider the reaction of the infrastructure elements to specific climate factors and projected changes to those factors due to climate change (conducted by those familiar with design, administration, maintenance and construction of the subject road)
  3. Analyze vulnerability of various road infrastructure elements (given climate factors)

Although the PIEVC protocol is a case study approach, the outcomes of the pilot PIEVC project will help define steps to better address climate change adaptation considerations for resource roads in the future.


The following background webinars were delivered to PIEVC workshop participants:

Intro to PIEVC

Climate Change & Climate Modelling