EKKOM Sp. o.o. completed the ongoing since 2013 project of monitoring the effectiveness of activities introduced to minimize the negative impact of the construction of the expressway S1 on the section Airport – Pyrzowice junction on animals. More info about the project available – click “read more”.
Monitoring of passageways for animals was performed, tightness and functionality of fences, degree of mortality of animals on road and adroitness of protective plantings were also controlled.
Along the monitored road section S1 from Pyrzowice junction to Airport junction (from 0 + 300 km to 2 + 158 km) 6 faunal passageways for amphibians and small animals were built. Monitoring of these facilities was conducted based on the identification of animal footprints on the sandy strips, direct observations of specimens migrating and recordings from cameras. A four-year study showed the functionality of all passagewas. The facilities under monitoring were used also by pets – dogs and cats, as well as by wild living teriofauna – martens, weasels, foxes, badgers, raccoon dogs and hoofed mammals – roe deers and boars. In addition, regular use of these facilites, especially during the migration period, by amphibians were reported: gray toad, common frog and green frog, as well as at lower frequency by spadefoot, newts and great crested newt was found. A single usage by sand lizard and the mallard duck and pheasant was also found.
Thanks to the ongoing cooperation with the contracting authority – the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), Katowice Branch – it was possible to introduce a wide range of solutions significantly reducing mortality on the monitored section of road S1. By using solutions such as e.g. extension of herpetological fences and regular leakage monitoring, as well as caulking the bases of noise barriers, in the final stage of monitoring, animal mortality was limited to only individual victims, most often birds and animals able to cross the protective and guiding fences i.e. cats.
As a result of consultation with GDDKiA, EKKOM managed to introduce a solution which makes independent exit from the elements of the drainage system of the road possible for amphibians.
This project is a good example that mutual cooperation between specialists conducting this type of project and a road authority can be very fruitful and can lead to optimized solutions resulting in minimizing the negative impact of new roads on animals.