Dec. 6, 2018
VDOT PARTNERS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL TO DEVELOP RESILIENT STREAM CROSSINGS
Innovative techniques nurture resiliency for both wildlife and Commonwealth infrastructure
Richmond, VA – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today announced its partnership with the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) to replace aging stream crossing infrastructure in Rappahannock County with updated designs to help the waterways and wildlife.
VDOT is accountable for many bridges and culverts throughout the state and, through this partnership, will replace two stream crossings with structural designs that mimic a more natural habitat for the Commonwealth’s wildlife.
“This project exemplifies successful collaboration to develop innovative solutions that address environmental challenges related to our transportation infrastructure,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The PEC was just awarded a grant to cover the cost differential of the sustainable stream crossing solution, which is important for the environment and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
The PEC on Tuesday was awarded a grant worth nearly $200,000 by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to complete these stream crossing projects at Bolton Branch and Piney River. This work will leave the stream bed intact by constructing a three-sided, more open structure to provide a natural environment for fish and other stream wildlife.
“Virginia’s environment is key to considering any changes to our transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “Through this collaboration, we are able to provide the best solutions for both the environment and the infrastructure and deliver results that without each other, would be major challenges.”
The open culvert design enables fish and other marine life to travel through the stream crossing without impact. Conventional culverts can be restrictive and a variable in the Eastern Brook Trout’s population decline in the Commonwealth.
VDOT implements science-based solutions to avoid and compensate for impacts to wetlands and streams and reducing construction-related effects on the environment.
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