American Society of Civil Engineers Honors Transportation Corridor Agencies’ Commitment to the Environment with Two Industry Awards
Wildlife Protection Fence and Conservation Grazing Pilot Program lauded as Outstanding Projects.
Irvine, Calif. - April 18, 2022
At the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Orange County Branch Annual Awards Night, the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency's (F/ETCA) State Route 241 Wildlife Protection Fence was recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Environmental Engineering Project of the Year and the F/ETCA’s Conservation Grazing Pilot Program was named the 2021 Outstanding Wildfire Hardening Project of the Year.
The ASCE Orange County Branch is part of a global civil engineering community representing an international profession that plans, designs, constructs and operates the built environment while protecting and restoring the natural environment. With more than 2,500 members, the Orange County Branch is the organization’s fourth largest. The awards ceremony was held on April 12 in Anaheim.
"We are excited and grateful to have, both, our Wildlife Protection Fence and Conservation Grazing Program honored by the civil engineering community,” said F/ETCA’s Chair and Yorba Linda City Council Member Peggy Huang. “For more than a quarter century, our environmental initiatives have protected the natural resources of more than 2,000 acres of habitat and open space. We don’t do it for the accolades, but the accolades are valued and celebrated.”
SR 241 Wildlife Protection Fence: 2021 Outstanding Environmental Engineering Project of the Year
The F/ETCA worked in partnership with Caltrans to design, plan, install and monitor the Wildlife Protection Fence along the 241 Toll Road. The fence maintains wildlife movement and connectivity while reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions.
The 10-to-12-foot-high fence spans both sides of a six-mile stretch of SR 241, funneling wildlife to existing wildlife bridges and culvert under-crossings that allow protected passage to open spaces on either side of the road.
The fence was designed as a joint study with the University of California, Davis into the movement and health of the area’s wildlife. 2021 marked the completion of post-construction monitoring and the milestone achievement of concurrence from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The project reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by nearly 100%, demonstrating the remarkable positive impact of TCA’s environmental efforts.
Conservation Grazing Pilot Program: 2021 Outstanding Wildfire Hardening Project of the Year
Conservation grazing, or targeted grazing, is the use of grazing livestock to improve and maintain the quality of biodiversity of natural areas. In February 2021, the F/ETCA started implementation of its Board-approved, science-based, pilot conservation program on its 23.2-acre Live Oak Plaza property.
Live Oak Plaza, located in Trabuco Canyon northeast of the 241 Toll Road, contains valuable oak woodlands, riparian and coastal sage scrub habitat for the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the endangered Riverside fairy shrimp. The site provides natural wildlife movement corridors to and from the Cleveland National Forest approximately one mile north and east of the property, and O’Neill Regional Park and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Parks approximately 0.75 miles to the south and northwest, respectively.
The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California Legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system comprised of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads.