One of the challenges faced during a remediation, restoration, or construction project located
in the middle of a marshland is access. Typically contractors have to construct temporary roads to safely reach work areas. This requirement is costly, especially in the case of an environmental remediation project where all materials have to be removed and disposed of as hazardous waste. Building temporary roads also negatively impacts the sensitive wetland environment and its inhabitants. There are other options that can save time and money, while greatly reducing the negative impact on both aquatic plant and animal species.
Amphibious equipment can safely transport people and equipment to work locations over a terrain on which is too soft to walk, and too dense to float. This equipment is often found in the southern United States working in and around the vast coastal wetlands, however their applications are endless. Environmental remediation projects are one example that can greatly benefit from such equipment. In addition to the aforementioned advantage of avoiding costly temporary roads, amphibious equipment can increase personnel safety. As wetlands are notorious for sink holes, fluctuating water levels, and defensive reptilian inhabitants, these machines will provide stable work platforms and safe transport. They can function as excavation equipment as well as provide platforms for sand placement and capping operations.
Environmental dredging is often hindered by shallow water depths, while land based excavations are often mired down (literally) in areas where equipment could get stuck. Because amphibious equipment can float, the operator does not have to worry about getting too close to the edge of the water. Also, the wide tracks and low weight result in very little ground pressure. This leads to the avoidance of deep track ruts that typical low-ground pressure equipment, such as wide-tracked bulldozers, will create. Final restoration of the disturbed area is often minimal, requiring mostly replanting instead of reconstruction.
For the reasons discussed above, amphibious equipment is a viable option that should be considered when faced with access challenges in marshlands and wetlands. It is an economical solution that can reduce a project’s overall impact on sensitive habitat while increasing overall project safety.
For more info about Brennan's amphibious capabilities, view our Amphibious Dredging page.