Wildlife and motorists are not the cosiest of bedfellows. Which is what inspired the Animal Road Crossing international design competition, where landscape architects from around the world were invited to give their ideas for bridges that help animals peacefully co-exist with motor vehicles.
The winners were New York design group MVVA and architectural builders HNTB, who together submitted plans for a bridge that segues effortlessly into the surrounding landscape over the busy Interstate 70 near Vail in Colorado.
The crossing is enveloped by heavy landscape, and looks more natural land than man-made. It’s both visually alluring and practical - estimates suggest it can be built for half the cost of the wildlife overpasses that feature in the nearby Banff National Park.
Why similarly inventive bridges haven’t been in other parts of the world ‘is a mystery,’ saysToronto ecologist and planner, Nina-Marie Lister Lister. ‘We know that they work, we know that there’s a need for them. We also know that the cost of not having them is incredibly high, and it’s compounded year after year.’