Climate Change has AASHTO Reviewing Transport Standards

Recent years' extreme weather is putting unprecedented strain on pavements and may warrant revising construction standards

Despite recently taking the politically charged phrase "Climate Change" out of the name of an important steering committee, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recognizes that its guidance needs to be updated to reflect the new realities of global warming.

"There is a whole series of standards that are going to have to be revisited in light of the change in climate that is coming at us," said John Horsley, the association's executive director.


  • Superstorm Sandy inflicted the worst damage to the New York subway system in its 108-year history
  • Washington state transportation officials, "joked we were having 100-year storms every year"
  • Flooding threatened to swallow up the Omaha, Neb., airport
  • Record-smashing heat last summer bent train tracks to buckled highway pavement

Dallas had more than five weeks of consecutive 100 degree-plus high temperatures. "That puts stress on pavements that previously we didn't see," Horsley said.