21 December 2009

North American Wildlife Crossing Structure Design Competition

Here's an interesting bridge design competition.

Vail Pass, on the I-70 in Colorado, has been chosen from 22 possible locations as the site for a prototype wildlife bridge. Designers are asked to come up with a structure which can carry wildlife while being more economic than a typical highway bridge (see artist's impression, vaguely reminiscent of the CZWG / Mott MacDonald Mile End Park bridge in the UK).

As well as protecting the wildlife and bridging the ecological divide created by the highway, the bridge is also there to protect motorists. Organisers estimate the average cost of a critter-vehicle collision to be $6,617 for deer, $17,483 for elk, and $30,760 for moose, although those look a bit on the low side to me (having had a friend hospitalised for several weeks after a collision with a deer). They do reckon the annual cost to the American economy to be about US$8bn.

Go to the ARC Competition website for more information, although as yet there are no dates, rules or information on the cash prize. There's no funding in place to actually build the bridge yet, but organisers hope the competition will raise the concept's profile sufficiently to raise funding.


Pedestrian said...

The median width is rather narrow, but I'd suggest that an arch culvert system would be more efficient than the artist's rendition. Similar to the crossings provided on Hwy 1 near Banff, Alberta, Canada.

The Happy Pontist said...

You should enter the competition then!