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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Slightly modifying a culvert-repair contract creates huge benefits for area wildlife

In Chittenden County, Vermont, at the intersection of Skunk Hollow Road and Vermont 117 in Jericho Town, a pipe culvert leads into the fast-flowing Winooski River 50 feet ahead. When plans were announced to fix the failed culvert by lining the invert with concrete, proactive Verrmont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) employees took the initiative to propose adding a few more labor hours to the repair contract so environmental conditions could be improved for the ducks, crayfish, Atlantic salmon, and other aquatic species using the culvert. Workers placed rock baffles every 8 feet as the concrete was being poured, creating the illusion of a natural bottom and slowing the rate of the water flowing downstream. Next, they built a dam with fallen trees taken from the site. The pond created by the dam serves as a "refuge" in a rapidly moving river. Just as the VTrans employees had predicted, these benefits were accomplished with little excess design, no extra materials, and labor from their own district.
--Mar 30, 2009

Chris Slesar, (802) 828-5743 or

This picture shows water flowing downstream through a pipe culvert and rocks at the base of the culvert to fix a dropoff problem.
Photo by Photo by Vtrans.
At this pipe culvert used by a variety of aquatic species, a dropoff problem was fixed with rock baffles.

On or Along Waterways - Vermont
Updated: 12/12/2012
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