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During a three-year study of two tributaries being crossed by a four-lane highway under construction in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, we found little difference in the amount of fine sediment collected at upstream and downstream sites. The downstream site on one tributary collected significantly greater amounts of sediment in 2003, prior to installation of sediment fencing. Despite several episodic flow events that caused changes in the streambed, benthic macroinvertebrate metrics did not differ significantly annually or seasonally between sites or between streams. On-site controls effectively checked new sedimentation, and benthic macroinvertebrates were not significantly impacted.
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Effects of highway construction on sediment and benthic macroinvertebrates in two tributaries of the lost river, West Virginia