Lynx, bear, mountain lions and even small mammals could use the crossing to avoid interstate traffic
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The winning design for a wildlife overpass near Vail Pass features multiple types of habitat to make the bridge attractive to all the animals that live in the area, including forest, meadows, shrubs and even a seam of scree, which is important for small mammals like pikas and marmots.
The results of the contest were first reported in the New York Times Green blog, and with a mention in the Jan. 24 print edition.
The goal of the competition was to raise awareness about how roads fragment wildlife habitat, and also to find a cost-effective design that could serve as a model for other wildlife crossings. Similar crossings have been built in Europe and Canada, where they are closely monitored. Much of the science of road and wildlife ecology in western North America has emerged from 24 wildlife crossings in Banff National Park.
The winning design came from Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates, a landscape architecture company based in New York and Cambridge, Mass. The design team worked with HNTB, a national construction firm, to develop the proposal for a bridge built out of pre-cast concrete panels that can be put together like Lego pieces and then covered with vegetation.
The current proposed location for the crossing is west of Vail Pass, in an area deemed important for threatened Canada lynx. but the final placement could depend on the environmental studies currently in progress for the entire I-70 corridor between Golden and Glenwood Springs.
The full proposal from the winning team is online here: Download Submission PDF
Filed under: Colorado, endangered species, Environment, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, wildlife Tagged: | I-70, I-70 wildlife crossing, lynx, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, transportation, Vail Pass, wildlife