|Infrastructure adaptation to climate change – railways and forest roads|
The Committee on Transport and Communications has carried out an assessment on the effects of climate change on infrastructure, focusing on railway tunnels and forest roads. An in depth study of two ongoing railway tunnel projects showed that measures for adaptation to the risks of heavy rain and flooding were included in the planning process. However, in an existing tunnel located under Malmö, extreme weather conditions proved to be underestimated in the planning process, as the tunnel almost flooded during a storm in 2013. One problem with large infrastructure projects is the long period, from planning to building, where adaptation to climate change risks not getting sufficient attention in all steps and by all stakeholders involved. More than three quarters of the total length of the road network in Sweden are private roads and almost half of the private roads are forest roads. The climate in Sweden has become warmer, with more rain and shorter periods of cold winter conditions with ground frost. The demand from the forest industry has also changed, i.e. the industry now demand “just in time” deliveries. These facts and the need for maintenance of the roads have increased the challenges in maintaining roads. Other challenges identified in the report were a lack of knowledge about the climate change effects on forest roads among some private road owners. In addition, climate change was rarely taken into account in the construction phase.