When stream crossings, such as culverts, fail, the results can be catastrophic for those living and working nearby. Recent severe storms, including Hurricane Irene, have wreaked havoc on western Massachusetts roads, costing millions in damage and disrupting life in affected communities for months.
Road closures from culvert failures lead to increased costs as a result of limited emergency access, longer commute times and lost business revenue. Many crossings fail, in some cases repeatedly, due to their inability to pass high flows and the materials stirred up by rivers at flood stage. These crossings require ongoing maintenance and repairs when they become plugged with debris.
In addition, culverts that are undersized, shallow or perched—elevated above the road bed—can obstruct fish passage and force other wildlife out of streams and onto road where they are vulnerable to road traffic and may pose hazards to drivers.
The good news is that stream crossings can be improved to increase both public safety and fish and wildlife passage. This month, Bay State Roads is presenting day-long workshops in Pittsfield, Westfield, and Greenfield to give municipal highway managers, state personnel and their consultants the tools they need to improve road stream crossings.
Each workshop will bring together statewide experts to provide best practices and case studies on replacing road-stream crossings – topics covered will include site assessment, engineering standards, permitting standards, funding and installation.
For more information, visit Baystate Roads at http://baystateroads.eot.state.ma.us/workshops/view/1561/improving-stream-crossings
*B-roll is available for media.
When and where:
*Registration and breakfast for all events starts at 8:30 a.m.
*Presentations at each workshop will be the same, but presenters vary with date where “or” appears above.
The workshops are presented by Baystate Roads, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, American Rivers, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, The Nature Conservancy, The Connecticut River Watershed Council, Housatonic Valley Association, and Tighe and Bond Engineers.
Funding is provided by Massachusetts Environmental Trust and Westfield River Wild and Scenic Advisory Committee.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.