Water Over the Bridge: Planning for Freight Transportation in Port Cities

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The Carolina Transportation Program is pleased to announce a presentation by Rachel Willis, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research Institute and Associate Professor of American Studies and Economics

Rachel Willis FINAL with border“Water under the bridge” refers to something that has happened and nothing can be changed. “Water over the bridge” is the likely physical outcome of sea-level rise and an increase in storm severity along the coast. IPCC projections and the evidence from recent catastrophic storms and droughts demonstrate the critical importance of examining how we can improve port city resilience for our global capacity to move food, raw and manufactured goods, and energy around the planet. Transportation assets and corridors that will be negatively impacted include bridges, tunnels, canals, pipelines, river ways, and roads for trucks and rail cars – at seaside and inland ports.

Willis will present an overview of her research which details the urgent need for new planning paradigms, investment frameworks, and strategic development policies with respect to critical freight transportation infrastructure. The special challenges of decision-making for multi-jurisdictional and multi-modal water and rail investments demands an urgent response that both responds to climate change and reduces the negative impact of freight transportation on water and air quality.