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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-17-036    Date:  March 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-17-036
Date: March 2018


Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology Evaluation Final Report: Eco-Logical

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has initiated an effort to evaluate the Research and Technology (R&T) Development Program and communicate the full range of its benefits. The program helps FHWA assess how effectively it is meeting its goals and objectives and provides useful data to inform future project selections.

This report examines outcomes associated with the Eco-Logical Program, namely, (1) the extent to which FHWA has enabled transportation agencies to adopt the Eco-Logical approach, (2) the manner in which transportation agencies have incorporated the Eco-Logical approach into their business practices, and (3) the ways in which the Eco-Logical Program has contributed to improved project processes and environmental outcomes. This report should be of interest to FHWA staff, the Eco-Logical user community, and transportation professionals interested in advancing environmental mitigation.

Hari Kalla, P.E.
Associate Administrator, Office of Research, Development, and Technology


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology Evaluation Final Report: Eco-Logical
5. Report Date
March 2018
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Gina Solman, Jessica Baas, and Heather Hannon
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
U.S. Department of Transportation
55 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report; March 2015–November 2016
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
The Research and Technology Program Manager and Contracting Officer’s Representative was John Moulden (HRTM-10).
16. Abstract
This report documents an evaluation of Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Research and Technology Program’s activities on the implementation of the Eco-Logical approach by State transportation departments and metropolitan planning organization recipients of FHWA Eco-Logical funding. The evaluation team collected information on FHWA’s efforts to disseminate information to stakeholders, the extent to which stakeholders have adopted the Eco-Logical approach, and stakeholder-identified processes and environmental impacts obtained by agencies implementing the Eco-Logical approach. Data collected from literature reviews and stakeholder interviews (see main report for specific reference information) suggest that FHWA has consistently recognized the value of demonstrating its commitment to the Eco-Logical approach by providing funding and technical assistance to its stakeholders and encouraging practitioners to share results with their peers. FHWA research and funding has enabled its recipients to adopt the Eco-Logical approach sooner and more comprehensively. Funding recipients are building relationships with partners, sharing and using data in better ways, and incorporating information gathered to inform project prioritization and to develop integrated transportation plans. Most recipients focused their efforts on completing earlier planning-level steps and stages of the Eco-Logical approach. Few recipients identified, tracked, or quantified impacts related to project delivery or environmental mitigation. FHWA, partners, and stakeholders demonstrated a commitment to the Eco-Logical approach. Stakeholders adopted the Eco-Logical approach by building relationships, sharing and using data, integrating plans, and prioritizing project selection and mitigation.
17. Key Words
Eco-Logical, FHWA, Ecosystems, Mitigation, Infrastructure
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized.

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations

Abbreviation Term
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ALIVE A Landscape Level Inventory Valued of Ecosystem Components
AMBAG Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
ARC Atlanta Regional Commission
BMP best management practice
Caltrans California Department of Transportation
CA-MPO Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization
CAPCOG Capital Area Council of Governments
CDOT Colorado Department of Transportation
CE categorical exclusion
CPT conservation planning tool
EIA Ecological Integrity Assessment
EIS environmental impact statement
ESA Endangered Species Act
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FWS U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
GIS geographic information system
HEP Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty
H-GAC Houston-Galveston Area Council
HUD U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
IAP Implementation Assistance Program
IDFG Idaho Department of Fish and Game
ILF in-lieu fee
ITD Idaho Transportation Department
ITEEM Integrated Transportation and Ecological Enhancements for Montana
LOSRC Land-of-Sky Regional Council
LRTP long-range transportation planning
MaineDOT Maine Department of Transportation
MARC Mid-America Regional Council
MDC Missouri Department of Conservation
MDOT Michigan Department of Transportation
Michigan DNR Michigan Department of Natural Resources
MoDOT Missouri Department of Transportation
MOU memorandum of understanding
MPO metropolitan planning organization
NCDENR North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
NCTCOG North Central Texas Council of Governments
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NHA New Hampshire Audubon
NHDOT New Hampshire Department of Transportation
NYSDOT New York State Department of Transportation
OKICOG Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments
OSU Oregon State University
PCED Proctor Creek Environmental District
PPACOG Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
R&T Research and Technology
REAP regional ecological assessment protocol
REF regional ecosystem framework
SCAG Southern California Association of Governments
SHRP2 Second Strategic Highway Research Program
SWEEP Stream and Wetland Ecological Enhancement Program
TAC technical advisory committee
TCRPC Tri-County Regional Planning Commission
TCSWCD Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District
TJPDC Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
TRB Transportation Research Board
USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
USEPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
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