Our Highways and Wildlife Protection


Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Lab, partnered to study wildlife use of existing highway structures. The study demonstrated that many species of wildlife use various sized structures to cross under Maryland highways. Most of these structures are underpasses, which are associated with stream valleys.


 
A fox shown using a cylinder culvert   Wildlife tracks going through underpasses




MD200, the Intercounty Connector (ICC) and Wildlife Preservation


The ICC has 44 bridges and culverts designed to provide safe passage for deer and small mammals. Culverts carrying streams are also designed to provide aquatic species passage. ICC bridges over parks and streams are longer than normal to lessen the amount of environmental impact in these sensitive areas and to allow impact in these sensitive areas and to allow greater clearance for wildlife and vegetation.


 
Culvert carry a stream   Culvert accessible by aquatic and land wildlife




Deterring Wildlife from Highway's


Specially designed fencing will exclude wildlife from the highway and direct the animals to wildlife crossings. Deer exclusion fencing is eight feet tall, with an additional 1 foot buried below ground. An additional three feet tall, small mammal, exclusion fencing is also attached. Deer escape ramps are designed to encourage deer to leave the roadside if they get inside the fence.


 
Specially Designed Fencing   Wildlife escape ramp




Wildlife Relocation Efforts


Over 900 Eastern Box Turtles were relocated from the highway construction area to parks with suitable habitat. SHA partnered with the Towson University Biology Department to study the effectiveness of the relocation efforts. Relocated turtles adapted to their new locations.


Professional biologists worked with volunteers and
students to collect data on the relocated turtle's




Publications


Click here to view the responses, Movements and Survival of relocated box turtles during ICC construction.

Click here to view the investigation into the use of road drainage structures by wildlife in Maryland.

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