How Road Construction Can Drastically Affect the Surrounding Environment
There are more cars being driven than ever before in our history, and that means there has to be more roads. Most families now own two vehicles per household where it always used to be just one. With more traffic comes a greater risk to our surrounding environments.
Widening, expansions and building new roads to accommodate the ever-growing suburbia is having an impact on our environment and wildlife. Not only do new roads change the existing natural landscapes but they can have a profound effect on the surrounding ecosystems.
Roads are a necessity of modern life. It can even be fun to take the kids out to play in the mounds of construction dirt with their new top rated electric RC trucks from Dronethusiast, but we don’t often stop to think about the impact we are having on the environment.
Shifting and depleting wildlife population, migration interruption and habitat alteration are just some of the ways that a new road can negatively impact an area. With focus on conservation and responsible development we can have our roads built with the surrounding wildlife and natural landscape in mind.
When new roads are built there are many serious consequences that need to be considered. Here are some of them:
Laying down a road can interrupt the lives of many creatures, birds, reptiles and insects. Homes and dens may be destroyed, migration paths may be interrupted and easy access to feeding and watering areas may be blocked.
If animals can’t cross a road safely to get to their homes or sources of food you will start to see a decline in the local populations. Such interruptions in the natural orders can have a disturbing effect on mating rituals and cause lower litter sizes and less healthy offspring.
During the construction process, the amount of fuel pollutants, dust and debris in the air, and noise can seriously disrupt a natural area.
Once the road is complete, you are looking at other sources of pollution. Car exhaust, leaked oils and poisonous fluids and discarded trash can all affect nesting habits. Wildlife mothers will not nest in areas that pose risks to their babies even if they have been nesting in the area for many years.
Salts used to de-ice roads are a huge pollutant to the natural world. Not only is salt toxic to most animals, reptiles and birds, it is also the biggest source of toxic runoff that can pollute the surrounding earth and water sources. Higher salt content in roadside waterholes can result in birth deformities and the destruction of frog and reptile eggs.
Light and noise has a much higher effect on wildlife than any other form of pollution. Species in the area where a new road is being built are not used to dealing with nighttime lights. Artificial light exposure can affect sleep and hunting cycles as well as hatching patterns.
Over 1 million animals are killed every day on roadways in the U.S. That is a staggering number of losses to the natural environment. Animals are no match for the power of a speeding vehicle. In areas where high speed roads run through migration trails you will see a drastic drop in populations within the first year.
We are slowly paying more attention to the impact that our civilizational spread is having on the natural world. Strict environmental guidelines have been set in many states mandating that full ecological impact surveys be completed prior to construction.
To lower the impact that a new road may have on the wildlife in the area, innovative solutions like underground migration culverts or natural path overpasses have been created to lessen the impact on the wildlife in the area.
Road construction is not likely to stop anytime in the future. With more responsible thinking and paying attention to the impact that our activity has on the natural world, we can work towards better solutions.