The Wildlife Overpass provides an economical wildlife passage over the Trans-Canada Highway to reduce collisions, protecting wildlife and drivers.
The Wildlife Overpass located in Yoho National Park, about 2.5 km from the BC/AB border, provides a clear span of 33m over six lanes along a 60 m length of the TransCanada Highway (TCH).
Parks Canada places a high priority on reducing the frequency of wildlife/vehicle collisions on Parks highways. The higher traffic volumes on the TCH pose a substantial risk of wildlife/vehicle collisions. Therefore, to reduce or eliminate such collisions COWI was tasked by Parks Canada, as part of an ongoing Standing Offer, to design an overpass arch structure across the TCH.
The Wildlife Overpass arch continues Parks Canada’s successful use of dramatic arch structures to provide economical and durable wildlife passages over the TCH. Constraints on the available highway width prevented use of the shorter span double barreled arch arrangement previously used along the TCH in Banff National Park. To accommodate the longer arch span, a lower profile arch shape was selected and developed to reduce the crossing gradients imposed on wildlife and to better fit the overpass into the surrounding terrain.
The arch design considers the benefits of soil/structure interaction. Abutment structures and foundations were developed to provide both the strength and the lateral stiffness required to support the arch span. The resulting structure is striking in appearance and is believed, at the time of construction, to be the longest span wildlife structure of this type in the world.