Sudbury

Greater Sudbury installing fencing on Maley Drive to protect turtles

Maley Drive in Greater Sudbury will no longer be a danger zone for turtles trying to cross the road, as the city is installing new fencing to protect them.

Underground culverts installed for turtles to cross road

New signs are posted along Maley Drive and roads leading up to it to inform drivers of turtles in the area. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Maley Drive in Greater Sudbury will no longer be a danger zone for turtles trying to cross the road, as the city is installing new fencing to protect them.

The new Maley Drive extension opened to the public last year. David Shelsted, the city's director of engineering services, says while getting permits to build the road, it was noted turtles could be impacted.

"Part of the permitting for this, we're required to put in some fencing," he said.

"The fencing is mainly around the Barrydowne Road area and it goes down east and west of Maley Drive."

He says the fencing is about 60 centimetres in height and it's tilted away from the road.

"If a turtle does find itself on the other side of the fence, it can crawl over top of the fence and get out of the road area," he said.

"We're encouraging the turtles to cross at the culverts we've provided underneath the road sections so they can pass through safely."

The city worked with the Junction Creek Stewardship during the planning of the road as well as the fencing.

The fences to protect turtles are about 60 cm high and tilt away from the road. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Miranda Virtanen with the group says steps like this can have a big impact on the population of a species. She says when it comes to Blanding's Turtles, it's usually adult females that get hit.

"If an adult turtle is killed by unnatural causes like road mortality, it has a huge impact on the population," she said.

Shelsted says the city hasn't put up fencing like this in the past, but says people may have seen similar fencing on provincial highways.

He says it's important to find a balance between development and protecting wildlife.

"Anytime we build a roadway, there are some impacts to the natural environment," he said.

"But we try and do our best through these types of activities to minimize the impact to the environment."

With files from Angela Gemmill

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