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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Building infrastructure resilience


A NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) dust warning to motorists traveling along Interstate 10 near Lordsburg, New Mexico, tweeted in November 2017. Source: NOAA NWS.

Interagency efforts are supporting preparedness and safety measures for critical transportation infrastructure.

Dust storms in the Southwest can create dangerous and deadly driving conditions, reducing visibility to near zero with very little warning. Interstate 10 is especially vulnerable to dangerous dust-related driving conditions as it passes through a dry lake bed west of Lordsburg near the Arizona border. To help reduce dust-related risks, the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program and the DOT Federal Highway Administration coordinated with the National Weather Service and the New Mexico Department of Transportation on several public safety and dust mitigation projects. New infrastructure includes static and dynamic warning signs, surveillance cameras to view current conditions, shoulder repair, pavement markings, and other road improvements. Funding also supports new ad and awareness campaigns to promote driver safety and revegetation projects to mitigate dust creation.