Highway Management Practices

Roadside drainage systems can have a major impact on local drainage and water quality.  Many watersheds have more miles of roadside drainage ditches than miles of streams.  Working with the County Water Quality Coordinating Committees, STC developed a handout summarizing Recommended Management Practices for Highway Operations.  STC also assisted the Schuyler and Steuben County Water Quality Coordinating Committees with developing water quality strategies for highway operations.  These strategies document current management practices (based on survey results), existing erosion potential (based on roadbank and road ditch assessments), and implementation recommendations.

Water Quality Strategy for Highway Operations, Schuyler County, 2007

Water Quality Strategy for Highway Operations, Steuben County, 2007

 

Roads and Water Quality Handbook, Edition III, 2007

The Highway Superintendents Roads and Water Quality Handbook was developed as a multi-agency, multi-county project to assist local highway departments with activities that may impact local and regional water quality.  In 2007, STC compiled updated resource information for the third edition of this handbook.  A notebook containing these reference materials was provided to every municipal highway department in the STC region.  The contents of the Roads and Water Quality Handbook are listed below, with links to the source material wherever possible.  (Select a topic or scroll down.)

Permits

Project Planning

Erosion and Sediment Control

Road Drainage

Bank Stabilization

Dust Control

Road Salt Management

Chemical Management

Streams and Wetlands

Beaver Control

Maintenance

Seeking Additional Assistance

Permits

Permit Log

How to Apply for a DEC Permit:  Applicant’s Guide to the Uniform Procedures Act (brochure) – Additional information on the NYSDEC website:  Uniform Procedures Act

Stream Classification (brochure) – Related information on the NYSDEC website:  Water Quality Standards and Classifications

Protection of Waters Program:  A Guide for Applicants – Additional information and application forms on the NYSDEC website:  Protection of Waters

Freshwater Wetlands Program:  Applicants’ Guide – Related information and application forms on the NYSDEC website:  Freshwater Wetlands Permits

Mined Land Reclamation Program:  Applicant's Guide – Additional information and application forms available on the NYSDEC website:  Mined Land Reclamation

SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activity – Additional information on the NYSDEC website: Construction Stormwater Permit and Forms and Construction Stormwater Toolbox

-         Moving Dirt?  Building Something?  Stormwater Construction Permit Regulations (brochure)

-         Permit GP-0-08-001

-         Instruction Manual

-         Notice of Intent

-         Notice of Termination

 

Project Planning (Road Mapping Your Project)

Planning, Siting, and Developing Roads and Highways

Site Planning (page 3 and Guiding Principles from Great Lakes Better Backroads Guidebook:  Clean Water by Design)

Planning Considerations for Roads, Highways and Bridges (EPA fact sheet)

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”): 

-         Erosion Control Planning and Site Management (pages 2.1-2.4)

-         Steps in the Selection and Design of Control Measures (pages 2.5-2.12)

-         Example Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (pages F.1-F.6)

Erosion and Sediment Control

Erosion, Sediment and Runoff Control for Roads and Highways (EPA fact sheet)

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”):  

-         Vegetative Measures for Erosion and Sediment Control (pages 3.1-3.2)

-         Standard and Specifications for Temporary Critical Area Plantings (page 3.3)

-         Standard and Specifications for Permanent Critical Area Plantings (pages 3.5-3.7)

-         Standard and Specifications for Vegetating Waterways (pages 3.23-3.26)

-         Standard and Specifications for Topsoiling (pages 3.27-3.28)

-         Standard and Specifications for Mulching (pages 3.29-3.31)

-         Standard and Specifications for Vegetating Sand and Gravel Borrow Areas (pages 3.35-3.36)

-         Standard and Specifications for Straw Bale Dike (pages 5A.17-5A.18)

-         Standard and Specifications for Silt Fence (pages 5A.19-5A.21)

-         Standard and Specifications for Check Dam (pages 5A.23-5A.24)

 

Road Drainage

Roadway and Roadside Drainage (Cornell Local Roads Program manual)

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”):  

-         Standard and Specifications for Grassed Waterway (pages 5B.11-5B.15)

-         Standard and Specifications for Lined Waterway or Outlet (pages 5B.17-5B.20)

-         Standard and Specifications for Rock Outlet Protection (pages 5B.21-5B.22)

-         Standard and Specifications for Grade Stabilization Structure (pages 5B.31- 5B.32)

-         Standard and Specifications for Debris Basin (pages 5B.41-5B.44)

-         Standard and Specifications for Subsurface Drain (pages 5B.45-5B.48)

Technical Bulletins from the Center for Dirt & Gravel Road Studies (PA):

-         Driving Surface Aggregate

-         Crown & Cross-Slope

-         Grade Breaks

-         Raising the Road Profile

-         Bank Benches

-         Pipes – An Overview

-         Crosspipe Installation

-         “Through-the-Bank” Pipes

-         Headwalls & Endwalls

-         Natural Stone Headwalls

-         French Mattress

-         Underdrains

-         Constructed Stone Underdrains

Turnouts (page 20 from The Massachusetts Unpaved Roads BMP Manual, 2001)

Common Problems Which Cause Subsurface Drainage Systems to Fail (Agricultural Engineering Extension Bulletin 454)

Off Right-of-Way Influences (presentation handout prepared by Bradford County, PA Conservation District)

 

Bank Stabilization

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”):  

-         Standard and Specifications for Riprap Slope Protection (pages 5B.57-5B.59)

Bank Stabilization (pages 45-57 from The Massachusetts Unpaved Roads BMP Manual, 2001)

Road Banks:  Introduction (presentation handout prepared by Bradford County, PA Conservation District)

 

Dust Control

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”):  

-         Standard and Specifications for Dust Control (pages 5A.87-5A.88)

Dust Control and Stabilization (Section IV from Gravel Roads Maintenance and Design Manual, November 2000, EPA)

 

Road Salt Management

Road Salt Application and Storage (EPA fact sheet)

Are You Using the Right Amount of Ice Control Chemical? (Salt and Highway Deicing newsletter, summer 2004)

Highway Salt Management:  Handbook for Local Government Officials (Cornell Cooperative Extension)

Chemical Management

Does Your Facility Generate Automotive Service Wastes? (EPA brochure)

EPA fact sheets: 

-         Municipal Vehicle Fueling

-         Municipal Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance

-         Municipal Vehicle and Equipment Washing

-         Hazardous Materials Storage

-         Materials Management

-         Spill Response and Prevention

Examples of Best Management Practices for Vehicle Service, Washing and Storage Bays (NYS DEC)

Spill Reporting Guideline (Clarification for PBS Facilities) – Related information on the NYSDEC website:  New Hazardous Spill Reporting Requirement

Used Oil Retention Facilities (NYS DEC)

Compliance Audit:  Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations (with Instruction Book for Self Audit Checklist) - Related information on the NYSDEC website:  Chemical and Petroleum Storage

NYS Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Regulations Inspection Report

Operating and Maintaining Underground Storage Tank Systems:  Practical Help and Checklists (EPA)

Streams and Wetlands

Information from NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control (“Blue Book”): 

-         Standard and Specifications for Structural Streambank Protection (pages 5B.37-5B.40)

Technical Bulletins from the Center for Dirt & Gravel Road Studies (PA):

-         “Corman” Clearwater Crossing

-         High-Water Bypass

Stream Obstruction Removal Guidelines (American Fisheries Society)

Helping Our Waterways Recover After a Disaster (NY SEMO and FEMA)

Stream Crossings (Chapter 4 of Great Lakes Better Backroads Guidebook:  Clean Water by Design) Related information on the NYSDEC website:  Stream Crossings and Stream Crossings:  Guidelines and Best Management Practices

Building Near Wetlands:  The Dry Facts (EPA)

National Wetlands Inventory (wetland locations can be viewed and downloaded from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website)

Beaver Control

Beaver Control Techniques

Managing Nuisance Beavers Along Roadsides:  A Guide for Highway Departments (Cornell Cooperative Extension)

Beaver Damage Control Techniques Manual – Information now on the NYSDEC website:  Nuisance Beaver

Maintenance

Operation and Maintenance of Roads and Highways

Roadway and Right-Of-Way Maintenance:  Management Practices Catalogue for Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention and Water Quality Protection in New York State (NYS DEC)

Technical Bulletins from the Center for Dirt & Gravel Road Studies (PA):

-         Surface Maintenance

-         Rotating Carbide-Tipped Grader Blades / Suggested Grading Sequence with a Carbide-Tipped Blade

EPA fact sheets: 

-         Parking Lot and Street Cleaning

-         Roadway and Bridge Maintenance

-         Storm Drain System Cleaning

Roadside Vegetation Management (presentation handout prepared by Bradford County, PA Conservation District)

Illicit Discharge Protocl

Reporting Polluting Discharges: tips for highway departments

Seeking Additional Assistance

The Roads and Water Quality Handbook was designed to serve as a “starting point” for permit-related issues often encountered by local Highway Superintendents.  The manual was developed to provide enough information to be useful on a daily basis, but not so extensive as to burden superintendents with unnecessary, or overly technical, information.

 

This Roads and Water Quality Handbook was not designed to be inclusive of all permit-related questions.  Nor is it a substitute for technical assistance or up-to-date regulatory requirements. 

 

A listing of agency contacts is provided on the following page for issues covered in this manual.  Please do not hesitate to contact the listed agencies for additional information or assistance.

Where to Go for Help:  Chemung County

Where to Go for Help:  Schuyler County

Where to Go for Help:  Steuben County

If you have difficulty accessing handbook information or would like hardcopies of these materials, please contact  (607-737-5271).  

STC Regional Planning & Development Board  8 Denison Parkway East Ste 310 Corning, NY 14830
Phone 607.962.5092
Fax 607.962.3400
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