Review of Special Provisions and Other Conditions Placed on GDOT Projects For Imperiled Aquatic Species Protection, Volume IV

Georgia has numerous protected freshwater species, which means that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) must frequently consult with federal and state agencies to identify measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts to imperiled aquatic organisms. Some of these measures, such as restrictions on in-water work during the reproductive season, impose substantial costs on GDOT projects, but their efficacy has not been thoroughly evaluated. The current system also provides limited flexibility. The research team have developed a system for assessing the impact of road construction projects on imperiled freshwater species that accounts for project characteristics, site characteristics, and species sensitivity. Called the Total Effect Score (TES), it is based on a comprehensive assessment of the tolerances and traits of 111 freshwater species and a thorough review of the literature on the efficacy of construction and post-construction best management practices. It employs a risk-based system to assess construction-phase effects and post-construction effects over a 50-year time horizon, making it possible to identify tradeoffs among alternative management practices. Additionally, the research team developed a template for a programmatic agreement (PA) that uses the TES as the basis for a streamlined system for evaluating projects. The PA is intended to cover both informal and formal consultation under a single system, which should reduce consultation time and increase predictability. To support the adoption of the PA, the research team conducted a biological assessment of all species. Adoption of the PA and the TES system should provide substantial cost savings for GDOT while improving outcomes for federally and state protected freshwater species.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This volume is the fourth in a series. The other volumes in the series are FHWA-GA-20-1806 Volumes I through III.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Odum School of Ecology


    Georgia Department of Transportation

    Office of Performance-based Management and Research
    600 West Peachtree St. NW
    Atlanta, GA  United States  30308

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Nelson, Jace M
    • Stephens, Timothy A
    • Bringolf, Robert B
    • Calabria, Jon
    • Freeman, Byron J
    • Hill, Katie S
    • Mattison, William H
    • Melchionni, Brian P
    • Skaggs, Jon W
    • Vick, Alfie
    • Bledsoe, Brian P
    • ORCID 0000-0002-0779-0127
    • Wenger, Seth J
    • ORCID 0000-0001-7858-960X
  • Publication Date: 2021-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Maps; References;
  • Pagination: 391p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01765552
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-GA-20-1806 Volume IV, 18-06
  • Contract Numbers: PI#0016335
  • Created Date: Feb 5 2021 3:55PM