Eliot Wildlife Passage Structure

Funding Round/Year: 
Project Sponsor: 
Maine Department of Transportation
MNRCP Region: 
Southern Maine
Total Cost of Project: 
MNRCP Award: 
Project Type: 
Culvert Replacement
View of new wildlife-friendly culvert at work completion in 2021
Project Description: 
Maine Department of Transportation (Maine DOT), working closely with wildlife biologists from various other agencies, replaced an existing culvert to facilitate wildlife passage from one side of the road to the other, and to enhance surrounding wetlands. The project replaced an existing 36-inch diameter culvert on Route 236 with an 8-foot wide by 6-foot high crossing structure designed for use by threatened and endangered turtle species, including Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata), as well as other small wildlife. This structure passes water but also has dry banks along the side to accommodate terrestrial use. Mapped freshwater emergent wetland is located on both sides of the road and the new culvert improves hydrologic connectivity between the two wetland systems. This improved hydrologic connection allows for greater resiliency to flooding from storm events and increases the wetlands' flood attenuation capacity. The project enhances approximately 600 acres of wetland by improving wildlife habitat connectivity. The culvert location is adjacent to existing conservation land to the east managed by Great Works Regional Land Trust. Maine DOT will maintain this structure as a wildlife crossing in perpetuity.