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    Saving wildlife with pattern imprinted concrete

    Saving our wildlife with pattern imprinted concrete is not a bridge too far, according to US architecture competition winners.

    Roadkill related accidents are costing the US $8 billon per year, and the problem is of a similar magnitude in other countries too. To solve the problem, the ARC: International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition was born, which asked engineers and architects to design a bridge for a particularly wildlife-hazardous stretch of road in Colorado.

    The solution was simple, but elegant and clever. Landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and the construction firm HNTB came up with a pre-cast concrete span 8 feet wide and spanning across the road, any number of which can be slotted together to create a bridge wide enough for any desired situation. The bridge is then covered in selected flora to mimic the local environment, meaning that wildlife will feel comfortable crossing the road via the bridge, rather than the dangerous highway.

    There is still a problem – finding funding to actually mass produce these concrete bridges – but it shows that a solution is possible, which uses familiar tried and tested methods rather than high technology. It is great to see the same core attributes of strength and durability used to create pattern imprinted concrete driveways also being applied to much grander scale projects.

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