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Optimal road design through ecologically sensitive areas considering animal migration dynamics

Davey, Nicholas; Dunstall, Simon; Halgamuge, Saman

Description

With increasing land transportation requirements in both urban and rural areas, roads are encroaching ever more on animal habitats, where collisions with vehicles are a leading contributor to wildlife mortality. While road designers recognise the importance of accounting for such impacts at the design level, existing approaches simply either ignore viable habitat or avoid such regions entirely. Respectively, this can result in road alignments that are overly damaging to vulnerable species...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDavey, Nicholas
dc.contributor.authorDunstall, Simon
dc.contributor.authorHalgamuge, Saman
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-21T00:57:36Z
dc.identifier.issn0968-090X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/113457
dc.description.abstractWith increasing land transportation requirements in both urban and rural areas, roads are encroaching ever more on animal habitats, where collisions with vehicles are a leading contributor to wildlife mortality. While road designers recognise the importance of accounting for such impacts at the design level, existing approaches simply either ignore viable habitat or avoid such regions entirely. Respectively, this can result in road alignments that are overly damaging to vulnerable species or prohibitively expensive to build and operate. The research presented in this paper investigates the effects of explicitly accounting for animal mortality on the design of a road through an ecologically sensitive area. The model presented achieves this by incorporating a spatially-explicit animal migration and road mortality model into an accepted optimal road alignment algorithm to propose low-cost roads that maintain the animal population above a minimum threshold by the end of a specified design horizon. The new method was applied to an example scenario to demonstrate the effect of setting a minimum required animal population on the road design. This model was able to consistently produce a road that met a minimum required species conservation benefit. This reflected a major improvement over the model that ignored animal habitats while only requiring a minor increase in construction and operating costs compared to the model that avoids habitat.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was funded through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.
dc.format17 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.rights© 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
dc.sourceTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
dc.subjectRoad design
dc.subjectEcological constraints
dc.subjectSurrogate model
dc.subjectDimensionality reduction
dc.subjectSpatially-explicit model
dc.subjectGenetic algorithm
dc.titleOptimal road design through ecologically sensitive areas considering animal migration dynamics
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume77
dcterms.dateAccepted2017-02-18
dc.date.issued2017-04
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.elsevier.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationHalgamuge, Saman, Research School of Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.identifier.essn1879-2359
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage478
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage494
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.trc.2017.02.016
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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