Disruptions of access can dramatic impact community connectivity. Climate change is projected to intensify storms and alter disturbance patterns in many areas, which can increase stream flow and debris transport. The intersection of roads and streams create vulnerable locations where the transportation network can be damaged or safe travel blocked. While bridges are potentially vulnerable to higher stream flows, culverts are arguable the more vulnerable links in a transportation network due to their smaller size, fewer inspections, and greater number. Additionally, vulnerability at culverts is exacerbated by the lack of information on culvert locations, their characteristics, and condition.
This tool is designed to meet the challenge of limited information on culverts throughout the transportation network. By making a user-friendly culvert inventory app, along with online video instructions, citizen scientist can help transportation management agencies expand the knowledge of the culverts in their network. With this additional knowledge, agency staff can strategically adapt their operations and long-term planning to address the “weakest links” in their network and improve the long-term resilience of travel in communities and regionally in a changing climate.