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Use of Innovative Technology to Deter Bat Bridge Use Prior To and During Construction

Status:  Complete
Project Start Date:  12/24/2019

Summary:

At two MnDOT-owned bridges, researchers tested ultrasonic deterrence technology originally designed to keep bats away from wind turbines. The devices deterred bats from the bridges until the units were turned off. Investigators installed acoustic recording devices to gather echolocation data at two bridge sites in Minnesota, recording activity before, during and after testing the ultrasonic deterrents. Bat calls fell off dramatically while the ultrasonic deterrents were operating, and in the 11 days to two weeks after the devices were on, bats of all species in Minnesota returned in numbers strongly matching predeterrence levels. MnDOT is developing procedures to use the deterrents during bridge maintenance and reconstruction to keep bats safe, allow crews to complete their work, and minimize the impact on maintenance budgets and scheduling.

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