Crossing the freeway is prohibited mainly because of one thing – it’s dangerous. Just imagine having to cross over to the other side of the road amidst speeding vehicles without the aid of a bridge – you wouldn’t even dare, right?
Luckily, humanity had invented overpasses to prevent road accidents from happening. And the good thing is, this safety tool is now being made not just for us, but for the animals as well.
Statistics show that in the US alone, vehicle and animal collisions cost $8 billion a year. That’s a huge amount! Some people thought that putting up an “animal crossing” sign would prevent all this, but they couldn’t be any more wrong.
Every time an animal crosses the freeway, they are left with no choice but to put their lives in danger. No other possible means of getting to the other side had been available to them until animal bridges came into existence.
These are exactly like how you would imagine them – bridges that are built on the part of a freeway that sees a lot of animal crossings. And to encourage animals to use them, these overpasses are covered with greenery.
Not only are these bridges a safety tool, but they also look really awesome! But you would probably need to be in a helicopter to appreciate the view.
This might be the first time that you’ve heard of animal bridges but surprisingly, they are nothing new. People have been building them since the 1950s, and it was in France that the very first ones were constructed.
Europe has become the proponent of animal bridge installations ever since that time. In Holland alone, there are currently 66 passages built for its wildlife.
Among these is the world’s longest animal bridge named the Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailoo. It’s a half a mile long and stretches over railways, rivers, and buildings.
In Canada and USA, animal bridges are being built over the last 30 years. The image below is one found in New Jersey.
The unique Nutty Narrows Bridge pictured below is made for squirrels to cross the road with ease.
In Australia, a bridge in Christmas Island allows about 50 million red crabs to go on their migratory route every year.
In Canada, Banff National Park has 44 individual wildlife crossing structures throughout the property. These installations are proving to be effective, as the park has seen an over 80% reduction in animal/vehicle collisions since these bridges were built.
The good thing is, more animal bridges will be installed in America soon. Washington State is currently constructing one in Interstate 90 and by fall of 2020, the plants that will make the overpass appealing to animals will be planted on it.
Animals deserve to have these road safety tools as much as we humans do, and it’s so great to see that many of these bridges are being built around the world!