A new design for Nature?

photo of what the wildlife crossing at I-70 might look like

One finalist's design for the I-70 wildlife crossing

Earlier this week, the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition unveiled the five finalist designs for a next generation wildlife crossing, to be built at West Vail Pass on I-70 in Colorado.  This first-ever international competition asked designers from all over the world to imagine solutions to the age-old problem of moving wildlife across the landscape while keeping them out of harm’s way on our highways.

Five finalists were chosen from 36 team submissions from nine countries, representing more than 100 firms worldwide.  The finalists showed great innovation and creativity, including the use of an inverted arc shape that creates a valley floating above the highway.  One design team chose laminated timber for building material, rather than concrete and steel.  Another design incorporates a bright red bridge to attract the interest of drivers as they pass under, yet remain unremarkable to color-blind mammals as they pass over.

“Collectively, the designs have the capacity to transform what we think of as possible,” said Jane Wernick, ARC juror and structural engineer, director of Jane Wernick Associates, London.

The five designs are now available for public viewing at http://www.arc-competition.com/finalists.php. The winning design team will be announced at the Transportation Research Board 90th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on January 23, 2011.

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- who has written 5 posts on dotWild.

Trisha White is the director of the Habitat and Highways Program, which seeks to reduce the impact of roads and highways on wildlife and encourage state and local authorities to incorporate wildlife conservation into transportation and community planning.

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dotWild is the blog of scientists and policy experts at Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

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