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Wildlife protection measures on highways

Spain, Portugal, UK

Measures for the protection of animals on highways such as the Autopista del Sol, Autema, Radial 4, AP36, Northern Litoral Autoestrada, Euroscut Algarve, Euroscut Azores, M3, M4.

Cintra is implementing four projects which incorporate measures for wildlife protection, with the aim of avoiding the barrier effect that motorways have on animal species living in areas close to such infrastructures, providing possibilities for safe crossing and avoiding roadkill.

Such measures will currently be implemented in the Autopista del Sol, Autema, Radial4, AP36, Autoestradas Norte Litoral, Euroscut Algarve, Euroscut Azores, M3 and M4::

  • Motorway barriers: A fencing or barrier will be put up all along the motorway route to prevent access, such that animals cannot actually get onto the motorway. In areas with burrowing animals, such as badgers, the fencing will be buried several centimetres into the ground and will be bend outwards.
  • Wildlife escape devices: These devices – essentially openings or ramps integrated within the fencing – will allow animals that accidentally access the motorway to leave again as quickly as possible.
  • Wildlife passages: In addition to the construction of specific underpasses for small mammals, adapted to their size, some of the cross-sectional drainage channels (in Spanish Obras de Drenaje Transversal or ODT) will be adapted as wildlife crossings through terracing, allowing for dry crossing areas. Openings will be provided on the central reservation to provide light to such crossings.
  • Flight elevation devices: In order to avoid impacts on birds, flight elevation devices will be provided. These devices allow birds to reach a suitable flying height before crossing the motorway, and thus avoid being hit by cars.

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