Roads, Highways & Bridges

Runoff from roads, highways, and bridges in the Texas Coastal Zone can carry contaminants into our coastal waterways. Dirt, dust, glass, grease, oils, rubber, trash, and other roadway debris can wash off of impermeable surfaces like roads, highways, and bridges. This roadside runoff — also known as “urban drool” — often flows downstream into our waterways with little time for infiltration, detention, or retention in the local environment.

By applying the following management measures at the time of road, highway, and bridge construction it is possible to prevent, control, or reduce runoff pollution both during and after construction. Such measures can stop harmful pollutants from entering our water sources which protects water quality, fish and wildlife habitats, and overall public health.

Small trash makes a big mess. So big in fact that a giant trash ball has started roaming across Texas picking up all the litter across Texas highways. Let Willie Nelson serenade you as you see it for yourself.


Check out the resources below for more information about car and roadway-related pollutants and what you can do at home to improve the water quality of our region.

Litter is a people problem that costs Texas more than $47 million yearly! Together, we can solve it. See how you can show your Texas pride and get involved in protecting the Lone Star State.
Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water, and reduce waste. Find out more about the program and how you can go the extra mile for Texas!
Did you know that the runoff from washing a car in your driveway is a form of non-point source pollution? If you wash your car at home, taking steps like using biodegradable, phosphate-free, and water-based cleaners on your car and washing only over permeable surfaces can reduce your impact on local waterways.
Protecting stormwater quality is critical to maintaining the fragile balance of water chemistry that marine species and coastal ecosystems depend on.

Check out the resources below for more information about roads, highways and bridges and what your organization, city, or county can do to improve the water quality of our region.

Learn about water quality enhancement and protection strategies for new and existing roads.
Find resources for the design and maintenance of bridge structures that allow for the protection of valuable natural buffers and sensitive aquatic ecosystems.
Explore practices that can be applied to new, replaced, restored, and rehabilitated road, highway, and bridge construction projects to control erosion and off-site movement of sediment.
Guidance for new, resurfaced, restored, and rehabilitated road, highway, and bridge construction projects to reduce toxic and nutrient loading.
Learn how you can incorporate pollution prevention procedures into the operation and maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges.
Develop and implement runoff management systems for existing roads, highways, and bridges to reduce runoff pollutant concentrations and volumes entering surface waters.