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Project Type
UTRC Research Initiative
Project Dates
12/01/2018 - 09/30/2022
Project Status

Roadways, while critical infrastructure, reduce hydrological and ecological conductivity, altering or restricting the natural flow of water and movement of plants and animals. In particular, water flow is likely to be altered by the fill used to construct the road, the structure itself, sedimentation which subsequently accumulates along the road, and by changes in surface water routing governed by the sizes and locations of culverts. These impacts can cause unnatural fluctuations in water levels which may be harmful to maintaining rare fen habitats. Furthermore, fen environments can be very sensitive to changes in water chemistry. Roadways may alter wetland chemistry by introducing a variety of chemicals (e.g., road salt) through runoff during precipitation (storm) events, influencing water chemistry and quality. Roadways also pose a physical barrier for wildlife and act as conduits for invasive plant and animal species. A habitat management plan will provide guidance and recommendations for scientifically sound management strategies for both routine maintenance (roadside maintenance) and large-scale projects (e.g., infrastructure changes) to protect habitats and species of interest.