Design of Roads in Harmony with Wildlife

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Eugene J. Obrien
Dennis E. H. Wansink
Miklós Puky

'Procedures for the Design of Roads in Harmony with Wildlife' or 'Harmony' is a project that aims to develop sustainable solutions to road transport challenges that are in harmony with wildlife. This paper summarises Harmony's work in the areas of Environmental Legislation and Guidelines, Project Appraisal, and Procurement Practices. The project mainly focuses on practices in the eight reference countries of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Sweden and Denmark. A review of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA) is carried out.

As part of this review, a database of over 80 Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Appropriate Assessment reports is analysed to identify the similarities and differences between countries in the implementation of the duties required by EU Environmental Legislation. It is found that the degree of implementation under the headings considered varies greatly between countries. It is concluded that increased guidance on monitoring be provided in all countries. Project Appraisal for transport infrastructure is the process of assessing whether capital expenditure is justified for a project and ensuring that it is allocated to the best transport solution to achieve the objectives of that project whilst complying with planning policy and national and EU legislation.

The project appraisal methodologies used in the reference countries are compared with the aim of identifying a set of tools to enable rational and sensible decisions to be made. The approach used in the UK is recommended for adoption by all Member States. This paper then examines existing approaches to the procurement of road constructions in the reference countries. The different types of contracts used for procurement are described and the benefits and disadvantages of different contract types are discussed.

Recommendations are then made as to which contracts are the most favourable for ensuring the environmental commitments of the Environmental Impact Statement are carried out. Early contractor involvement as well as construction contracts that incorporate maintenance, with monitoring, for an extended period afterwards were cited as key recommendations to ensure a good outcome for wildlife.

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