Protection systems for amphibians and small animals have to satisfy a range of different criteria, balancing road-building requirements with wildlife conservation needs.
ACO climate tunnels are suitable for roads close to water or in areas prone to high groundwater levels. In the most compact design, slotted tunnel elements (with climate openings) with an overall height of 520 mm are installed flush with the surface. A solid design (unslotted) can be installed with its base at depths of 600 – 720 mm below the surface of the asphalt.
ACO polymer concrete climate entrance units regulate moisture in two different ways: via climate openings at the road edge and via climate plates with drainage holes on the tunnel floor. Rainfall immediately penetrates the sensitive entrance area, ensuring the required air humidity and quickly adjusting to the ambient temperature. In periods of drought, the system benefits from direct connection to the ground moisture via the slotted climate plates.
ACO climate plates enable bespoke entrance/exit surface designs in (and in front of) passages of all shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of application they can be fitted to large-volume passages such as box or circular culverts where they can also be retrofitted to existing passages. The climate plates regulate the moisture. They allow water ingress for excess water. All manner of different verge profiles can be designed with ease. Animal that benefits from a range of solutions are badger and otter.
ACO climate portals and climate tunnels can be used at different installation depths, at or just below the surface, in the main carriageway. Footpaths and cycle ways at different heights can be incorporated into tunnel designs. Entrances and exits can be adapted as required using climate plates to connect with adjacent ditches or verges. Climate stilt tunnels extend climate portals and allow rainfall to enter the system on footpaths, cycle ways and verges. With laterally arranged wing walls, climate portals are an easy way to match the height of the next guide wall.
ACO polymer concrete properties are favourable to amphibians and other small animals. Because the water penetration depth is zero, not only are components durable, animals will also normally be walking on materials which have a moist non-abrasive surface. Polymer concrete also contains no metal reinforcement, meaning that amphibians won’t be disorientated.