UNH Research Finds Seacoast Roads Under New Threat From Rising Sea Level

UNH Research Finds Seacoast Roads Under New Threat From Rising Sea Level

Jul 03, 2017
Without road improvements, rising groundwater caused by increasing ocean water levels could lead to more road repairs and closures. Photo credit: Rebecca Zeiber/NH Sea Grant

Researchers at UNH have identified sections of specific New Hampshire Seacoast roads as far as two miles from the shore that are the most vulnerable as groundwater levels rise as a result of increasing ocean water levels.

“Previous road vulnerability studies have looked at road surface flooding, but groundwater has not been addressed,” said Jayne Knott, a civil engineering doctoral candidate in UNH’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and lead author of the study. “We found that the effects of surface water flooding on roads occur within a mile of the coast, and groundwater rise effects can occur more than twice that, sometimes all the way to Pease Tradeport.”  “The worst enemy of pavement is water,” says Jo Daniel, professor of civil and environmental engineering, director of UNH’s Center for Infrastructure Resilience to Climate, and a co-author on the study.

This research was supported by New Hampshire Sea Grant, New Hampshire Seacoast Transportation Climate Working Group, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Infrastructure and Climate Network, and the UNH Center for Infrastructure Resilience to Climate.

Full story

Bookmark and Share