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Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.4. Maintenance Near Waterbodies

Maintenance activities occasionally require equipment or personnel to enter a stream, river, channel, wetland or other water body. Cleanup/Repair, Drainage Ditch and Channel Maintenance, Bridge Repairs and Draw Bridge Maintenance are among that maintenance work items that can require work in or near a water body. In maintenance work near waterbodies, the following environmental stewardship practices should be followed. [N]

Maintenance equipment should not enter a water body without the required regulatory permits (e.g., Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act Section 404 permit, State Clean Water Act Section 401Water Quality Certification). A DOT environmental specialist or stormwater coordinator should be contacted to identify the appropriate permits.

  • Evaluate alternatives to performing work in the water body.
  • Tires should be cleaned before entering a water body.
  • Heavy equipment driven into a water body to accomplish work should be clean of petroleum residue.
  • Water levels should be below the gearboxes of the equipment in use, or equipment lubricants and fuels should be sealed such that inundation by water would not result in leaks.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's New BMP Manual for Maintenance Activities In and Around Streams

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) developed a manual of Best Management Practices (BMPs) For Maintenance Activities In and Around Streams. The manual was developed to introduce the Army Corps of Engineer's state programmatic general permit for highway maintenance, and to give engineers and maintenance personnel practical guidelines when performing activities in and around streams. The guidelines were endorsed not only by the Corps but by multiple state agency divisions and several KYTC maintenance districts. Though activities deemed detrimental to the environment or damaging to the general public interest may be revoked from coverage by the Corps' District Engineer, the effort is clarifying expectations and improving performance on a programmatic level.

The manual prohibits stream channelization or channel deepening as part of cleanup operations and avoids placement of equipment in-stream, whenever possible. Work is to be performed during low-flow conditions whenever possible and disturbance to existing stream bank vegetation is not to occur "unless absolutely necessary." Removed material must not be placed on the streambanks or in the floodway, and disturbed areas must be seeded and mulched.

The maintenance activities covered under the state programmatic general permit, and in the BMP manual include:

  • Drift Removal from Bridges and Culverts
  • Beaver Dams
  • Stream Clean-out/Culvert Sediment Removal
  • Embankment Repair and/or Protection
  • Scour/Erosion and Miscellaneous Repairs to Bridge Elements
  • Bridge and Culvert Replacement
  • Erosion Control and Project Restoration
  • Bioengineering

Activities not covered under the general permit are: bulldozer work, work areas in excess of 200 linear feet of stream, and work in "Outstanding Resource Waters" or designated components of national or state Wild and Scenic River Systems or wildlife management areas. This and other work that cannot be accomplished according to the conditions in the permit require submittal of a "Site Specific Project Sheet." Permits for disposal of debris or excavated material occur separately.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.1 Environmental Enhancement Practices and Partnership Efforts
10.2 Protection of Historic and Other Cultural Resources
10.3 Maintenance in Wetlands
10.4 Maintenance Near Waterbodies
10.5 Maintenance of Structures for Wildlife
10.6 Maintenance of Stormwater Facilities
10.7 Maintenance of Roadside Public Facilities
10.8 Management of Portable Sanitary/Septic Waste Systems
10.9 Maintenance of Shoulders and Roadway Appurtenances
10.10 Sweeping and Vacuuming of Roads, Decks, Water Quality Facilities, and Bridge Scuppers
10.11 Maintenance Stewardship Practices for Slopes, Drainage Ditches, Swales, and Diversions
10.12 Erosion and Sediment Control in Maintenance
10.13 Recycling in Roadside Maintenance Operations
10.14 Preserving Air Quality in Maintenance and Operations
10.15 Painting Operation Stormwater BMPs
10.16 Road Waste Management
10.17 Stockpiling, Spoil Disposal or Placement of Inert Fill
10.18 Maintenance of Soils
10.19 Emergency Actions
10.20 Field Review of Roadside Maintenance Operations
Lists: Examples | Tables | Figures
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