Animals around the province may soon have an easier time crossing some of the many highways.
The crossings installed on Highway 1 near Banff allow animals to cross over the highway safely, without disrupting traffic and we could soon see them on Highway 3 as well.
“The proposal that is on the table at the moment is to twin Highway 3 and we have developed movement models for elk to identify the best location to put such a structure, should the twinning go ahead,” explains Mark Boyce, Ecology Professor at the University of Alberta. “Right now, we are entering the peak in rut for moose and moose-vehicle collisions account for almost $25-million in damages every year.”
He says the “bridges” don’t always work but they do keep some animals off the roads.
“We know in particular that female grizzly bears are very reluctant to cross Highway 3 even now as it is a two lane road,” explains Boyce.
He says elk are the most frequent users of the bridges.
“As those crossing structures have grown up, they have been used quite regularly by elk,” explains Boyce. “They will also use underpasses but they are much more reluctant to do so.”
Boyce says animal vs vehicle collisions are a huge problem.
Boyce says the bridges are used regularly by Elk but other animals use them as well. He says this is peak season for moose right now and moose versus vehicle collisions account for nearly 25-million dollars in damages each year. (twd, Newstalk770)