New wildlife overpass will reduce collisions, improve road safety: Alberta
Alberta is building a $17.5 million wildlife overpass on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Bow Valley area.
The new construction is designed to improve highway safety by reducing the risk of wildlife-vehicle collisions, the province said.
The wildlife crossing will be located east of Canmore near Lac Des Arcs and is the first wildlife overpass to be built outside of Banff National Park.
“This overpass will drastically reduce the chances of wildlife-vehicle collisions. The overpass will not only increase safety for the travelling public and wildlife, it will save thousands of dollars each year in property damage caused by collisions,” said Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation.
Construction of the wildlife crossing has begun and is expected to be complete by fall 2023. The project will create about 100 jobs. The overpass includes 12 kilometres of wildlife fencing along the highway to help guide wildlife toward safe crossing points.
“The Bow Valley Gap overpass is one huge step closer to being used by elk, bears and other wildlife. We’re thrilled to see overpasses added to the provincial tool kit, and to see this overpass added to the network of collision mitigations that help make wildlife and people safer and better connected in the Bow Valley,” said Adam Linnard, Alberta program manager, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
About 30,000 vehicles travel this stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway every day. There are an average of 69 vehicle-wildlife collisions annually on the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff National Park and Highway 40.