Wildlife and Roads: Decision Guide Step 3.1
Document Decisions in Implementation Plan
Step 3.2 Develop Maintenance Agreements
Step 3.2.1 Develop Maintenance Agreements
If an agency or NGO outside of the DOT is responsible for any maintenance work, agree in writing clearly what is required, the level of maintenance expected, and the other factors in this section. Determine a process for transferring responsibility for maintenance in the event that the original responsible party can or will no longer accomplish it correctly. Incorporate a verification system that maintenance by NGO’s is being done as required by the agreement. The practice of transferring maintenance responsibility to other agencies or NGO’s is very uncommon. In most situation maintenance is the responsibility of the state/provincial transportation agency.
3.2.2 Determine the schedule of required maintenance for each structure or component such as fences
Typical terrestrial wildlife crossing structures include fencing and escape structures, which have different maintenance schedules than the major elements such as culverts or bridges. Aquatic crossings need to be cleared of woody debris, rocks and sand build up. The changes in the terrestrial and aquatic landscape and hence mitigation structures over time is quite variable among places and over time, so we cannot suggest a standard maintenance schedule. We suggest maintenance agreements are location specific and must be completed by local stakeholders. Maintenance agreements ensure that all elements necessary to the complete functionality of the system are maintained.
3.2.3 Determine the funding source for each aspect of maintenance over the life of the structure components
Mitigation measures can become obsolete in as little time as a year or less if they are not maintained. In order to help ensure they are effective those responsible for maintenance must be brought into the planning process at this stage. Their funding needs to maintain structures are best addressed prior to contract and construction. Typically this is accounted for within state/provincial DOT/MoT budgets.
3.2.4 Consider very long term maintenance agreements
The implementation plan discussed in Step 3.1 is a shorter duration plan than the maintenance agreement because it will be completed once construction is complete. The design life of many structures, several decades, will exceed any federal or state agency’s budget time frame, thus it is important to account for the maintenance in the very long term.