Wildlife Bridge Being Built Over Ontario Highway


Image Credit MTO; huge version here

Last year the ARC wildlife crossing competition got a lot of pixels; it was won by Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates and there is talk of building it, although it was more of an ideas competition. But they are actually building a wildlife bridge this summer in Ontario, just south of Sudbury. It is not nearly as fancy as the ARC competition entries, but the $ 58.3 million "eco-passage" will save the lives of both animals and the humans who tend to hit them.
Closeup of drawing by Totten Sims Hubicki, now part of Aecom.

The highway reconstruction from Parry Sound to Sudbury cuts through the rock of the Canadian Shield, and if it is anything like the recent construction just south of Parry Sound, involves significant and impressive rock cuts. The location chosen for the wildlife bridge spans between rock cuts so that there is no grade change; the road is going under the natural lay of the land. According to Peter Kenter in Daily Commercial News,

The 30-metre-wide wildlife bridge is in an area where a number of large animal collisions had been recorded -- and not just raccoons or porcupines. Animals common in the area include white-tailed deer, moose, elk and black bears....Other features designed to encourage wildlife use include: approaches that are gradual and consist of the existing lay of the land; landscaping that matches the adjacent natural environment; and concrete barrier walls to prevent noise and light impacts from vehicles travelling under the bridge.

As always, I will complain that the Ministry didn't have a competition or hire someone like Toronto landscape architect Janet Rosenberg to make it something lyrical, instead of giant engineering firm Aecom. But that is how it goes in Ontario.

More at Daily Commercial News

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Tags: Animals | Construction | Ontario

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