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Road drainage in Sweden: Current Practice and Suggestions for Adaptation to Climate Change
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment. (Miljöbedömning och -förvaltning och Biogeofysik)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment. (Miljöbedömning och -förvaltning och Biogeofysik)
2013 (English)In: Journal of Infrastructure Systems, ISSN 1076-0342, E-ISSN 1943-555X, Vol. 19, no 2, 147-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper describes current practice in road surface and subsurface drainage in Sweden and analyzes the necessity for adaptation of the planning, construction, operation, maintenance and monitoring of road drainage measures to climate change. Based on a survey of professionals working with various aspects of road drainage, the study sought to identify: (1) problems experienced concerning road drainage, focusing on the current Swedish climate; (2) future problems regarding climate change impacts such as flooding and high flows; and (3) suggestions for adaptation measures concerning road drainage systems, taking future climate change into account. Suggested improvements concerning management and planning included clarification of responsibility for drainage issues, better overview of the location and condition of drainage facilities, inclusion of drainage system maintenance in procurement of operation contracts, maintenance plans for drainage facilities, and monitoring and inspection of drainage measures. Suggestions concerning drainage system construction, operation and maintenance included increasing the capacity of drainage facilities, stabilizing ditch slopes and various measures to prevent clogging of culverts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 19, no 2, 147-156 p.
Keyword [en]
infrastructure, road transportation system, adaptation, operation and maintenance
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50105DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)IS.1943-555X.0000119ISI: 000318651800003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84881269932OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-50105DiVA: diva2:461006
Note

QC 20130618

Available from: 2011-12-01 Created: 2011-12-01 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Adaptation of road drainage structures to climate change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adaptation of road drainage structures to climate change
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change is expected to lead to more frequent extreme precipitation events, floods and changes in frost/thawing cycles. The frequency of road closures and other incidents such as flooding, landslides and roads being washed away will probably increase. Stronger demands will be placed on the function of road drainage systems.

The overall aim of this thesis was to produce scientifically well-founded suggestions on adaptation of road drainage systems to climate change involving more frequent floods. The work began by examining current practice for road drainage systems in Sweden and gathering experience from professionals working with various problems concerning surface and subsurface drainage systems. Various hydrological models were then used to calculate the runoff from a catchment adjacent to a road and estimate changes in peak discharge and total runoff resulting from simulated land use measures. According to these survey and hydrological modelling studies, adaptation of road drainage systems to climate change can be grouped into two categories: i) institutional adaptation; and ii) technical adaptation. The main approaches in institutional adaptation are to: i) raise the awareness of expected climate change and its impact on drainage systems in transport administration and relevant stakeholders; ii) include adaptation measures in the existing funding programme of the transport administration; and iii) develop an evaluation tool and action plans concerning existing road drainage systems. Technical adaptation will involve ensuring that road constructions are adapted to more frequent extreme precipitation events and responsive to changes in activities and land use in areas adjacent to roads.

Changes in climate variables will have effects on watershed hydrological responses and consequently influence the amount of runoff reaching roads. There is a great need for tools such as hydrological models to assess impacts on discharge dynamics, including peak flows. Improved communication between road managers and local actors in the forestry and agriculture sectors can be a means to reduce the impacts of, e.g., clear-cutting or badly managed farmland ditches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. xvi, 29 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2061
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-90888 (URN)
Presentation
2011-12-19, V1, Teknikringen 76, Stockholm, 10:30
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20111214Available from: 2012-03-05 Created: 2012-03-02 Last updated: 2012-03-05Bibliographically approved
2. Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Road structures under climate and land use change: Bridging the gap between science and application
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Future changes in climate and land use are likely to affect catchment hydrological responses and consequently influence the amount of runoff reaching roads. Blockages and damage to under-dimensioned infrastructure can be extremely costly for the regions affected. This study aims to produce scientifically well-founded suggestions on adaptation of road drainage systems to climate changes resulting in more frequent floods. This thesis demonstrates the need to integrate aspects of climate change and land use impacts into the planning and practice of road construction and maintenance in Sweden. Tools such as hydrological models are needed to assess impacts on discharge dynamics. Identifying a ‘best’ practically performing hydrological model is often difficult due to the potential influence of modeller subjectivity on calibration procedure, parameter selection, etc. Hydrological models may need to be selected on a case-by-case basis and have their performance evaluated on an application-by-application basis.

The work presented here began by examining current practice for road drainage systems in Sweden. Various hydrological models were then used to calculate the runoff from a catchment adjacent to a road and estimate changes in peak discharge and total runoff resulting from simulated land use measures. Overall, the results indicate that the specific effect of land use measures on catchment discharge depend on their spatial distribution and on the size and timing of storm events. Scenarios comprising a changing climate up to 2050 or to 2100 and forest clear-cutting were used to determine whether the current design of road drainage construction is sufficient for future conditions. Based on the findings, the approach developed can be used for similar studies, e.g. by the Swedish Transport Administration in dimensioning future road drainage structures to provide safe and robust infrastructure.

Furthermore, a statistical method was developed for estimating and mapping flood hazard probability along roads using road and catchment characteristics. The method allows flood hazards to be estimated and provides insight into the relative roles of landscape characteristics in determining road-related flood hazards. Overall, this method provides an efficient way to estimate flooding hazards and to inform the planning of future roadways and the maintenance of existing roadways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. xii, 31 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2014:01
Keyword
Adaptation, extreme rainfall events, runoff, land use, climate change, flood hazard
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
SRA - Transport; Järnvägsgruppen - Infrastruktur
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140631 (URN)978-91-7595-000-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-14, Sal V1, Teknikringen 76, 1 tr., KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140130

Available from: 2014-01-30 Created: 2014-01-29 Last updated: 2015-01-16Bibliographically approved

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