• Dec 8, 2010
Wildlife Crossing design competition finalists – Click above for high-res image gallery

The five designs for animal bridges you see here are finalists from over 100 entries for the ARC Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design competition sponsored by the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State. The competition is looking for "next generation" wildlife crossing designs, something that ups the ante over the tunnels, underpasses and bridges already in use by Canada to give back some migratory to our quad-pedal cousins. The organizers even picked a real stretch of Interstate 70 in Colorado called the Vail Pass as its theoretical location.

We won't belabor you with descriptions of each finalist's design, as all are basically a similar take on an interstate-spanning bridge topped by the topography and flora of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Our vote, however, goes to The Olin Studio's entry (above) that sharply curves up the edges of the crossing to allow more light under the bridge as well as shield animals from the sights and sounds of traffic passing underneath.

Regardless of your favorite, don't expect to see any of these designs crossing Colorado's I-70 anytime soon, as the winner of the competition, which will be announced January 23, wins nothing but bragging rights. The Colorado Department of Transportation doesn't have the money to build a wildlife crossing here, but promises to pre-qualify the winning design for consideration if it ever does. Even so, the high-res gallery below is certainly worth a look, if only to check out some really interesting infrastructure design.



[Sources: Vail Daily, ARC Competition]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I was a bear, I'd hang out there and wait for all the prey to cross the bridge and get fat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A teleporter would have had the least visual impact. Neat project, though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Teleporter? I've heard about those lithium crystals and plasma conduit , Scotty reckons there a right pain in the backside. Seriously wouldn't it be easier to bore a few drainage pipes under the road every few miles?
      • 4 Years Ago
      yeah. it's cool looking and will help the 0.0003% of wildlife that stumbles across it by chance. The other 99.9997% of animals that show up wanting to cross the roadside more than 40 feet away from it are going to cross the way they always do.

      If they want to keep the animals from getting hit, they need to elevate the entire roadway over the ground on a bridgeway for the entire long stretch so animals can cross underneath. Otherwise things like this are just engineering masturbation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some Engineer is making a killing, all in the name of saving the elk, or whatever else..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just call Sarah Palin and her helicopter. She'll make sure there is no wildlife to mess up your bumper.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @making11s

        As usual, the video there doesn't tell the whole story:

        1. The sight on her dad's gun was off, because he fell while walking earlier in the show.

        2. As soon as she used the other rifle, she brought it down with one shot.

        Sarah Palin, living rent-free in liberals' heads, 24/7.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The video there doesn't tell the whole story:

        1. The sight on her dad's gun was off, because he fell while walking earlier in the show.

        2. As soon as she used the other rifle, she brought it down with one shot.

        Sarah Palin, living rent-free in liberals' heads, 24/7.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As it turns out, she's not really all that much of a hunter.

        http://www.theawl.com/2010/12/sarah-palin-the-tv-star-exposes-sarah-palin-the-fake-hunter

      • 4 Years Ago
      In austria they have these green bridges, and as far as i know they work pretty well. We should do much more to protect animails from us Humans, they have a damn hard life and and frankly i think they could need alle the help we can give em', I think these Green bridges is a great idea, bring em' on.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now instead of hitting deer a deer can land on your car!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toby Keith doesn't want to be fed. Toby Keith wants to hunt!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone who has ever driven in the Canadian Rockies will see that were the overpass are built the hole treeline at the side of the road is fenced 12 feet high. The wildlife has no choice but to use the overpass to get to the other side. It's a pretty good idea, the animal walks till it hits the fence and walks along the fence till it comes to the overpass and cross's over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definitely cool, but when the global economy is in melt-down, it's much more appropriate to invest in infrastructure that will generate revenues or lead to much greater economic efficiency (i.e. transportation).

      Definitely cool, though, but I hope our politicians are not dumb enough to go for it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i live in banff and would like to take issue with the headline of this article

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trans-Canada-wildlife_overpass.JPG
      • 4 Years Ago
      They already have animal crossings all along the transcanada highway, and animals do use them. They are used because there is a fence all along the highway, so this is the only place animals can cross. Most of these areas are national parks (Banff, Kootenay, etc) and they try to keep them as clean as possible.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's a under the freeway tunnel on the northern edge of the Los Angeles-Ventura County line. It's about 14-16 feet in diameter. Camera footage indicates it's used regularly by deer, bobcats and the occasional mountain lion. They managed to find the tunnel without any training. I'm sure this open air corridor will work much better.
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