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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Tortoise ramps

In a uniformly gradated rock-mulch entry to culverts, baby desert tortoises can easily fall into the spaces between the rocks, especially in an area with high water flow. To keep the little tortoises from slipping between the riprap, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has come up with a simple solution: concrete "ramps." At the tortoise-popular Gonzales Pass segment of U.S. 60 outside Superior, Arizona, ADOT crews attached concrete ramps-miniature "boat ramps"--to the entrance of each new culvert. A ramp was also added to an existing culvert which had no riprap and which could only be reached by a steep incline. The tortoise ramp here guarantees the animals a pathway up to and into the culvert.
--Mar 23, 2009

Bruce Eilerts, (602) 712-7398 or

photo shows a little tortoise heading onto a concrete ramp leading down to a culvert. The ramp skirts chunnky riprap, preventing the tortoise from falling into the cracks between the rocks.
Photo by Photo by ADOT.
In Arizona, baby tortoises no longer fall into riprap in front of culverts, thanks to ramps installed by ADOT.

Along Roads - Arizona
Updated: 12/12/2012
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