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2020 Mousetrap Winner - Innovative Project Award

Beaver Pipe Cage

Download 2020 Booklet as PDF

Beavers looking for a new home threatened the safety of drivers in the Town of Niles, New York. The beavers moved into the area and began packing mud and sticks into a cross culvert along one of the roadways. Their handy-work sometimes stretched 4 - 5 feet into the culvert causing water to back up and flood the area. Niles officials needed to find a solution that would keep both the beavers and the roads safe. They came up with an idea to use gabion baskets that they had in stock from another job to block the beavers from turning the cross culvert into a home. The first few attempts were unsuccessful because the baskets were not secure enough to keep the beavers out. So, the Town of Niles took their idea further by consulting with highway workers to build a frame around the basket for improved security and stability around the cross culvert. It worked and the beavers eventually went away. Problem solved! "I never had doubt that this was going to work. It was pretty fool proof," says Patrick Steger, Highway Superintendent with the Town of Niles.

This creative solution cost the town of Niles less than $500. Patrick's advice to other agencies is to "Work smarter, not harder." He says, "If there's a problem, sit back and think it through. If it doesn't work the first time, keep at it. Stick with it and don't give up."

Congratulations to the Town of Niles, New York on being selected as the 2020 Innovative Project for Build a Better Mousetrap.

For more information:
Patrick Steger, Niles Highway Superintendent
(315) 246-7198


Beaver Pipe Cage used to stop flooding along the roadways in Niles, New York.

Source: Town of Niles, NY

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