Marine Construction

Highways in the Coastal Environment

This report provides guidance for the analysis, planning, design and operation of highways in the coastal environment. The focus is on roads near the coast that are always, or occasionally during storms, influenced by coastal tides and waves. A primary goal of this report is the integration of coastal engineering principles and practices in the planning and design of coastal highways. It is estimated that there are over 60,000 road miles in the United States that can be called “coastal highways.” Some of the physical coastal science concepts and modeling tools that have been developed by the coastal engineering community, and are applicable to highways, are briefly summarized. This includes engineering tools for waves, water levels, and sand movement. Applications to several of the highway and bridge planning and design issues that are unique to the coastal environment are also summarized. This includes coastal revetment design, planning and alternatives for highways that are threatened by coastal erosion, roads that overwash in storms, and coastal bridge issues including wave loads on bridge decks.

From ‘Highways in the Coastal Environment: Second Edition’ by FHWA