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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Improving a culvert keeps turtles on the wetland - and off the road

At County Road in Sussex County, New Jersey, a few simple modifications to a culvert linking two wetlands have created a tunnel for bog turtles. The endangered turtles couldn't use the culvert to get from the "breeding" wetland to the "hibernating" wetland because large rocks blocked one opening to the culvert and there was a steep drop at the other opening. New Jersey Department of Transportation crews fixed the problem by removing the rocks and cutting banks, supporting them with gabion baskets (stone-filled wire "cages"). They also put a concrete pad at the same level as the culvert to create a level entrance, and they installed a one-foot high fence along the road to channel the turtles into the tunnel. Thanks to the "renovated" culvert, bog turtles and other small animals can now safely access the two wetlands on opposite sides of the road.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Robert Bird, (609) 530-4239 or robert.bird@dot.state.nj.us

Re-designed bog-turtle culvert
Photo by Ken Conrow, New Jersey DOT
Re-designed bog-turtle culvert in Sussex County

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On Wetlands and Uplands - New Jersey
Updated: 12/12/2012
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