Wildlife crossing structures and research
Once it became clear that the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park would require an upgrade from two lanes to four, we needed to determine how best to increase the size of the highway while minimizing effects on surrounding wildlife. We also hoped to curb the high rate of wildlife-vehicle collisions on the highway.
To help solve this problem, transportation planners and scientists came up with a two-fold solution:
- Install fencing on both sides of the twinned highway to keep large animals from accessing the highway right-of-way.
- Construct wildlife underpasses and overpasses to connect vital habitats and help sustain healthy wildlife populations by allowing animals to cross under or over the highway.
Tracking animal movement at the newly constructed wildlife crossings was made a top priority. Such work has been on-going in the park since 1996; the longest on-going wildlife crossing research and monitoring program in the world.