SJCOG Climate Adaptation and Resiliency (Phase I) Study
In 2020, SJCOG conducted a Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Study to identify critical transportation infrastructure assets within San Joaquin County and assess their existing and future vulnerability to climate change impacts. Existing climate change planning efforts were incorporated to provide more holistic understanding of risks in the area and to allow for prioritization of assets for resilience efforts. The goals of this project were to sustain multi-modal transportation, create and maintain network redundancy, and improve overall resiliency and reliability of San Joaquin County's transportation system. These goals and the approach to the vulnerability assessment were developed alongside a working group of regional stakeholders.
Key climate hazards assessed in the vulnerability assessment included increases in sea level rise, fluvial/riverine inflows, extreme precipitation events, wildfire, and extreme heat.
Overall, San Joaquin County is predicted to experience more flooding due to sea level rise and riverine flooding. This can significantly impact bridge infrastructure by reducing clearing (or "freeboard") and undermining bridge structures. Flooding can also overwhelm drainage systems, damaging rails, roads, and airport infrastructure. Additional improvements need to be made to San Joaquin County levees to protect against sudden flooding events. As a key example, Stockton Airport is located within the 100-year floodplain and may experience significant flight delays and cancellations from flood events.
San Joaquin County is also projected to experience increased frequency and intensity of precipitation events. This can contribute to flooding and flash flooding which can overwhelm drainage systems and exacerbate the effects of sea level rise and riverine flooding.
Wildfires are projected to remain consistent or even slightly decrease in frequency across San Joaquin County. However, wildfires may still impact transportation infrastructure by causing closures that may exacerbate congestion and restrict access to transportation from other climate impacts.
San Joaquin County is projected to experience a significant increase in the number of hot days which can place strain on rail infrastructure, roads, runways, and maintenance activities by straining the health of maintenance workers.
Lastly, drought and the potential of a mega-drought are predicted to increase in California. Drought can cause roadway pavements to crack and can increase the likelihood of wildfires.
San Joaquin Region Vulnerabilities
The most critical assets in the San Joaquin region were identified based on multimodal transportation, redundant routes, and emergency response. The project team then evaluated how these assets are projected to be affected by each climate stressor of concern in the San Joaquin region. The top priority assets for adaptation responses are summarized below.
- SR 99 through Lodi
- South Stockton Neighborhood
- Stockton Airport
- Stockton Wye
- SR 4 from Stockton west to Contra Costa
- BNSF Intermodal Railyard
- Port of Stockton
- I-5 between Tracy and Lathrop
- Waterloo Road/CA 88
- Bus stops in downtown Stockton, Hammer Triangle, and Harrell Park