UNH gets $1.8m to study road damage from coastal flooding

Researchers to probe links to cracked, crumbled roads
Unh Flooding

UNH photo

The University of New Hampshire has been awarded a $1.8 million grant to study how and why coastal hazards like excessive flooding are causing roads to crack and crumble.

With the grant, UNH researchers and their partners at the University of South Alabama and the Rockingham Planning Commission, the study will focus on the northeast coast of New Hampshire and the southeast coast of Alabama.

The researchers will develop a number of hydrodynamic models that can analyze fluids in motion. They say the information will be valuable to state and town officials to assess the impact of sea level rise on the longevity of coastal roadways and help implement practical alternatives for communities to protect the infrastructure.

“We’re trying to better understand the causal links of not only the extreme events but also the gradual changes in sea level rise that can increase the rate of damage to pavement and trigger failures that require major road reconstruction,” Jo Sias, professor of civil and environmental engineering, said. “We’re looking at storm surges and wave action but also factors like the amount of time the pavement is under water.”

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