John King, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
It is by no means the only one. All along San Francisco Bay, low-lying roadways and rail lines face the potential of being flooded as sea levels rise and the bay expands.
“This is a much bigger thing than most people realize,” said Randy Rentschler, director of legislation for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “The whole area is a transportation network at risk.”
That risk is the result of generations viewing the shoreline’s shallow tidelands and mudflats as easy places to build the infrastructure required by a growing region, including highways and railroad tracks lines. The assumption was that the bay was locked in place — portions could be filled in, but it would never grow.
That assumption didn’t take into account larger changes in the climate triggered by global temperatures that have climbed steadily since 1980 and show no signs of leveling off.
As a result, a study last year by state and regional agencies said the combination of higher tides and rough storms in coming decades could upend travel in all nine Bay Area counties.