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Innovative strategies to reduce the costs of effective wildlife overpasses – Workshop

Start Date: 10/08/2014
End Date: 10/09/2014
Status: Completed

Wildlife crossing structures have been shown to be one of the most effective means of reducing animal-vehicle collisions on highways, while facilitating essential animal movement across the landscape. Yet the widespread implementation of such structures, especially wildlife overpasses, has been hindered by their perceived and actual expense. For that reason, a facilitated workshop was convened on October 8–9, 2014, in Bozeman, Montana, at Montana State University, with prominent wildlife crossing experts from Canada and the United States to determine whether there are design parameters and construction techniques that could be added, changed, or adjusted to reduce or avoid costs, while maintaining or improving the overall efficacy of wildlife overpasses.

The resulting document compiles the resulting strategies and considerations—ranging from recognition that good design requirements (such as design life, structural loading, and clearance box dimensions) can significantly affect project costs, to acknowledgment that settlement restrictions used for vehicular bridges need not apply to wildlife crossing structures, to recognition that the use of materials such as geosynthetic reinforcing systems and expanded polystyrene blocks for fill can potentially reduce costs. Determining the type of procurement process to use, which can potentially drive down costs, was also explored. Potential cost savings considerations were consolidated into three categories: (1) planning; (2) design and construction; and (3) procurement, delivery method, and cost accounting considerations.

ARC Solutions sponsored the workshop in 2014, and the U.S. Forest Service developed the research report, published in 2020.


  • Rob Ament
    Rob Ament