Testing road surface treatments to reduce erosion in forest roads in Honduras
Using forest roads produces more erosion and sedimentation than any other forest or agricultural activity. This study evaluated soil losses from a forest road in central Honduras over two consecutive years. We divided a 400-m segment of road into 8 experimental units, each 50 m in length. Four units were treated with Best Management Practices (BMPs) and four were left untreated. The BMP treatments included reshaping the road prism, installing culverts and reshaping of road ditches, compacting 20-cm layers of the road tread, crowning the road surface (3% slope, double drainage), longitudinal sloping (less than 12%), and adding a 10-cm layer of gravel (crush size = 0.63 cm). Soil movement was measured daily during the rainy seasons. The highest soil loss occurred in the control road, around 500 m³km-1 per year, while the road treated with BMP lost approximately 225 m³km-1 per year. These results show that road surface erosion can be reduced up to 50% with the implementation of surface treatments.