February 26, 2010
FEATURE | Roadbuilding
First overhead animal crossing planned for Highway 69 widening
A wildlife bridge set for Highway 69 will save both humans and animals and is the first of its kind in Ontario.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is building its first four-lane overhead “eco-passage” in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
About 115 kilometres of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury is being expanded to four lanes, heightening the need to implement wildlife protection measures and improve driver safety. The wildlife bridge is part of the 13-kilometre construction project stretching south from the town of Estaire.
The $58.3-million contract for that road section and the bridge was awarded to Aecon Construction and Materials Ltd.
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.
The specific location was chosen to economize on construction costs by using the natural topography to create the grade separation. The bridge abutments sit on a rocky outcropping in the median and the approaches consist of the natural lay of the land. A series of fences discourages animals from crossing anywhere else and gently guides wildlife toward the bridge.
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.
Similar bridges dedicated to wildlife protection have been constructed in Banff National Park, as well as in other jurisdictions in the U.S. and Europe.
“Although it will not have vehicles on it, there will be a static load from the soil overburden required to landscape the structure,” says Heather Garbutt, senior transportation environmental planner, planning and environmental section, provincial highway management, with MTO’s northeastern region. “There will also be no snow removal from the structure.”
While the structure was completed by the end of 2010, the bridge will be landscaped later this year, with trees, shrubs, brush piles and rocks, to provide a fully naturalized environment, visually shielded from traffic. The bridge should be ready for animal traffic by the fall of 2011.
MTO has also designed an under-crossing to the north of the bridge that’s being monitored for comparison purposes.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 368 projects with a total value of $7,826,276,357 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Monday.
$110,000,000 Toronto ON Tenders
$70,000,000 Ottawa ON Prebid
$65,000,000 Brampton ON Tenders
- A Closer Look VIDEO: Construction on the Panama Canal Expansion
- CCA96th: Unlocking Canada's Potential
- Break ground beyond Canada, says new CCA chair
- Construction of Haiti’s Ecole Lakay drives forward
- The power of proper project management
- Panama Construction Fact for Today
- Federal government unveils $32.5 million in funding for Quebec ice oval
- Canadian job market “sputters” in February
- Construction and machinery to see increased investment, says StatsCan
- Line 3 pipeline plans for Enbridge
- VIDEO: Construction on the Panama Canal expansion
- Concerns raised about P3 approach for Saskatchewan schools
- Manitoba focuses on infrastructure spending in budget
- Journal of Commerce Preview for the week of March 10th, 2014
- Team work and prep are keys to success: Hadfield
- Panama Canal expansion digs deep
- Wood Design Awards
- Outgoing chair reflects on time at the helm of the CCA
- School board asks for traditional procurement
- Site Services in Vancouver
- Looking to improve contract awards
- Environmental verdict riles Taseko
- Prentice to mediate First Nations agreements
- CAWIC funded to create action plan to attract women
- More video surveillance used on construction sites
- Modular workforce housing meets Alberta Building Code standard
- Manitoba outlines infrastructure plan
- BC Hydro posts RFQ for Site C project