Using heavy construction equipment in environmentally sensitive wetland areas without proper precautions all too often risks getting construction machinery stuck and damaging the land. So when it came to Wisconsin’s Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area, taking such risks was certainly out of the question.

Aside from wetlands, the 2,312-acre Washington County property encompasses grasslands, croplands, streams, and ponds, in addition to serving as home to a diverse group of bird life. That’s why when contractors for West Shore Pipe Line Co. were tasked with repairing a fuel pipeline in the area, they had to tread carefully. The solution? They decided to use timber mats, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The incident that resulted in the need to conduct a repair began back in July of 2012 when a pipeline ruptured, spilling 54,600 gallons of gasoline a few miles south of Jackson Marsh, Wisconsin. After an initial repair occurred in 2013, a more recent internal inspection of the site was conducted to determine existing quality. Discovered was more degraded metal located closely to where the pipeline was originally fixed. Therefore, it was necessary to address further.

Fast-forward to 2016 and contractors are working to repair sections of this fuel pipeline located about 2.5 miles north of where the 2012 gasoline spill took place. In order to get the machinery to the area without damaging the Marsh Wildlife Area, they’re placing heavy timber mats on top of the sensitive wetland – allowing them to bring in all of their necessary supplies and equipment.

While the gasoline spill was surely catastrophic for the area, the utilization of timber mats should allow the repair contractors to successfully minimize any further environmental risks. For the full story on the repair of Washington County’s fuel pipeline, check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.