Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NH Sea Grant-funded researchers identify roads under new threat from rising sea levels

By: Rebecca Zeiber, N.H. Sea Grant
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have identified specific sections of Seacoast roads — including Route 286 in Seabrook, N.H. and Gosling Road in Portsmouth, N.H. — as those most vulnerable to impacts from rising groundwater due to sea-level rise. New information published in Transportation Research Record, the Journal of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science, will serve as a valuable tool for transportation engineers and city planners assessing the vulnerability of road infrastructure and developing adaptation plans for coastal cities.
“Previous road vulnerability studies have looked at road surface flooding, but groundwater had not been addressed,” said Jayne Knott, Ph.D. candidate at UNH and lead author of the study. “We found that groundwater rises further inland than the surface water effects. In coastal N.H., the effects of surface water flooding on roads occur within a mile of the coast, and groundwater effects occur to more than twice that, all the way to Pease Tradeport,” she said.
The researchers examined five roads along the New Hampshire coast likely to be effected by rising groundwater due to sea level rise. One road included as a study site is an emergency evacuation route from the coast. The rising groundwater will manifest in pavement that breaks down faster and develops more cracks, potholes, etc.
“The worst enemy of pavement is water,” said Daniel.  “If the soil and substrate under the pavement get wet, then the strength that we had counted on to carry the traffic isn’t there anymore. So the pavement develops ruts and cracks, allowing more water to get into the underlying layers which makes the situation worse,” she explained. Roads must then remain closed for longer periods of time to dry out, thus impacting commuters and tourists alike.
Original article

Related Posts
Oysters in a pair of gloved hands
Announcements

NOAA Sea Grant Develops 5-Year Aquaculture Investment Plan

Year-over-year, Sea Grant is committed to supporting aquaculture development across the nation, as a means of enhancing economic resilience and nutritional security in American communities. Sea Grant recently developed a five-year Aquaculture Investment Plan to guide its efforts in supporting aquaculture research, extension and education.

Read More >
(top left) A hand holding a pen traces a map for determining flood risk; (top right) an aerial view of waterfront property flooding; (bottom left) a walkway to docked fishing boats on the left and right; (bottom right) a person speaking and pointing to a flipchart while other participants listen.
Climate

NOAA Sea Grant Advances Resilient Coastal Communities with $4 Million in Support

Sea Grant programs across the U.S. are scaling up capacity to support additional hands-on, collaborative engagement to advance the sustainability of coastal and Great Lakes communities. Sea Grant awarded $4 million in fiscal year 2023 funds to its grant-based programs nationwide to continue or expand ongoing work or address new opportunities for coastal climate adaptation and resilience for the communities that Sea Grant serves.

Read More >
Scroll to Top