Adapting Monterey Transportation to Sea Level Rise


    City of Monterey


    Monterey, California

Perched on the beautiful central coast of California, Monterey is one of the most storied, picturesque, and beloved of our coastal cities.  It is also a critical regional transportation corridor: with limited alternate commute options, over 57,000 cars per day traverse Monterey’s coastal downtown roads.   As seas rise and coastal storms increase, those very roads are increasingly at risk of periodic flooding and eventual loss. Climate Adaptation Lead Rebecca Verity partnered with Kimley-Horn, long-term transportation consultant for the City in a Caltrans funded study of options to keep people safe, and transportation moving, as seas rise. 

Working closely with Monterey City Staff, we developed a beautifully graphic, easily readable study highlighting two potential paths: protecting existing roads by creating large flood barriers between Monterey Bay and the City, or embracing a new waterfront, restructuring roads and mass transit to embrace a new bay downtown via managed retreat. This is one of the first studies on the California coast to highlight how an adaptive, retreat-driven coastline could concurrently add new economic vitality, additional recreation opportunities, and ecological restoration while reducing risk for all. 

Learn more here.

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