What can we do to stop beavers from clogging up our culverts?
As a rule, any cracks greater than ¼" in width should be repaired. If left alone, there is the potential for excess water to infiltrate into the pavement's base, causing a weakening of the base material, resulting in additional cracks. This eventually causes the pavement to fail. Crack repairs should be done as soon as possible or the deterioration will be so great that more expensive repairs such as an overlay or even recycling will be needed.
Other suggested remedies for dealing with nuisance beavers include Deep Water Fences, site modifications, and culvert water level control devices. Please refer to the NYSDEC website for more details. The most suitable preventative will depend on the type of beaver problem that is occurring.
Keep in mind that the maintenance and inspection costs associated with each type of suggested remedy may far exceed the annualized costs of many culvert replacement options. Additionally, increasing the culvert size decreases the probability of plugging by beavers.
For a better understanding of managing beavers along roadsides please refer to Managing Nuisance Beavers Along Roadsides published by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Printed copies are available for loan from the Cornell Local Roads Program library, or contact your local NYSDEC regional office.
Managing Nuisance Beavers Along Roadsides, A Guide for Highway Departments Cornell University, 1999. (Printed copies are available for loan from CLRP, call or email us for information.)