VHB has supported RIDOT with engineering and environmental services for decades and RIDOT knows they can count on us when project timelines are pressed. VHB acted quickly when RIDOT requested visual assessments for the presence of bat roosting at 34 bridges across Rhode Island in 2022. The request came towards the end of the active bat season and so VHB mobilized quickly to carry out the surveys in conformance with USFWS guidance and conducted the surveys during the remaining active-season window.
To address issues such as accessing remote bridge locations, night inspection work, and work on high-volume roadways, the VHB team coordinated with RIDOT environmental staff, project management, and RIDOT construction supervisors on the implementation of traffic control for bridge inspections occurring on Interstate 95 and other high-traffic volume roadways and performed work site hazard assessments and safety tailboard meetings.
The team prepared USFWS inspection reports and consulted with USFWS Endangered Species Biologists at the New England Field Office. VHB confirmed probable absence of roosting bats at most bridge locations slated for the 2023 construction season provided follow-up support in the limited cases where potential presence was detected.