Structures designed to provide safe passage for animals over or under roadways are becoming more and more common. Whether for driver safety or protection of endangered species, funding seems to be more readily available with each new highway funding bill. ECO-SPAN® and other buried structures have proven to be excellent options for safe animal passage.
One of the leading users and researchers of animal crossings to date is Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Recent research in the park has shown that animals do use underpasses and overpasses when they are available. Studies also show that different species are more likely to use structures with different size openings and lengths. For example, some species prefer tighter, more enclosed spaces while others prefer more open spaces. Noise is another factor which influences animal use of a structure. Berms are used on overpasses and earth cover is used on underpasses to minimize noise. One study shows that the most influential factor for a structure’s effectiveness is human presence. If an animal crossing structure is shared with a hiking, bike or equestrian path, studies show that animal use is less likely.
More information regarding wildlife crossing studies at Banff National Park is available at the following links:
Technical Paper: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Farc-solutions.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F03%2FClevenger-Waltho-2000-Factors-Influencing-the-Effectiveness-of-Wildlife-Underpasses-in-Banff-National-Park-Alberta-Canada.pdf&ei=oB5gUpqsCJDD4AONtYGoDg&usg=AFQjCNEF2jzr350aeL-pGKrEU4ObhE2sZA&sig2=zOfj7V3xRgYodyAy_Cqbrw&bvm=bv.54176721,d.dmg