WRC Staff Begin Road Erosion Inventories

In October, work began in Weston and Stratton to help towns come into compliance with Act 64, Vermont's Clean Water Act. WRC staff Jeff Nugent and Emily Davis identified road erosion locations that would impact water quality, and road segments that would not meet new road standards being developed under Act 64. The results will be used by towns to prioritize improvements to mitigate road erosion issues specifically relating to water quality. VTrans's Better Roads program provides funding for both inventory efforts and road and infrastructure improvements.

To begin, GIS analysis was done by VT Agency of Natural Resources that identifies "hydrologically-connected" road segments. These segments are considered connected to surface waters if they intersect, or are within 100-feet of, a pond, perennial or intermittent stream, or wetland.

In the field, Jeff and Emily verified that these road segments are actually hydrologically-connected, then mapped any locations within the roadway that show signs of erosion or any other potential impacts on water quality.

In Weston, the team inventoried 14.3 miles of paved and unpaved road, and identified 180 erosion locations in the right-of-way (many of which were minor). They also assessed the condition of over 170 culverts, and identified those that are undersized.

In Stratton, the team has nearly completed their inventory, but unfortunately couldn't finish before the snow fell. Of the work so far, 9.8 miles of road were inventoried, and 127 distinct erosion points were identified. They also inventoried the condition of 82 culverts.

The road erosion inventory field work will resume in spring 2017 with the completion of Stratton. Townshend's inventory is slated to be finished in spring/summer 2017, along with Grafton, Windham, Westminster, and Halifax. Other towns interested in this inventory work are encouraged to apply for Better Roads funding.

Last Updated: 07 January 2021
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