Designing Sustainable Coastal Infrastructure as Sea Levels Rise

HDR Experts Share Insights on Adaptability, Aesthetics and Long-Term Planning

Brent Moore
Brent Moore
Adam Keen
Adam Keen

Coastal communities confronting sea level rise, recurrent flooding and severe weather frequently turn to infrastructure such as seawalls to protect their communities. But determining the best approach to these structures and knowing how to plan for still-uncertain long term requires specialized expertise and knowledge.

In the latest from HDR’s Experts Talk interview series, Brent Moore, P.E., and Adam Keen, PhD., share strategies for determining the risk of sea level rise, incorporating aesthetics into protective infrastructure and designing flexible structures that can meet tomorrow’s challenges as well as those of today.

Moore manages HDR’s ports and maritime practice on the Gulf Coast and central region of the United States. He’s been involved in federal and state seawall projects across the Gulf and East Coasts, including the ongoing project to rehabilitate the seawalls around prominent and historic national memorials in Washington, D.C. Keen leads HDR’s coastal services on the West Coast. An expert in coastal modeling, he has worked on coastal zone projects on every continent but Antarctica.

“We expect coastal structures to last decades,” Keen said. “So during planning and design we must understand where the environment is going long-term. That’s no simple task. It requires a deep understanding of existing local conditions and hazards.”

In their interview, the pair address planning and design considerations for seawalls in high vehicle and pedestrian traffic areas, and how data management and equity are important components of designing and managing coastal structures.

“The area where the land meets the sea is a unique, challenging environment which requires a special blend of engineering skills,” Moore said. “I’m blessed to have been able to work with communities and owners of marine structures all over the world.”

Read the whole interview on how to adapt coastal infrastructure to protect communities.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

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