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Bow Valley Gap Overpass

Bow Valley Gap Overpass
One of the innovative, cost-effective wildlife crossing designs by ARC Solutions. Photo: ARC Solutions
Y2Y proposes a solution for a major barrier to Bow Valley wildlife along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Solution for a major barrier to wildlife

The Bow Valley is one of the most important regional wildlife corridors in Alberta — and the broader Y2Y region. Deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, cougars, lynx, wolves, black and grizzly bears use the high quality habitat along the Bow River valley bottom to move between the protected areas of Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country.

It’s also a busy corridor for humans. Each day an average of 22,000 vehicles travel the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) through the Bow Valley, leading to a high rate of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

In addition to death and injury for wildlife, these collisions also result in injury and death to motorists and high monetary costs to society. On the 39-kilometer stretch of the TCH between Banff National Park and Highway 40, more than 60 collisions with deer, moose, sheep and elk per year add up to an annual cost of nearly $750,000.

But it isn’t only ungulates who are hit; collisions with grizzlies, black bears, coyotes, and wolves also happen.

On top of that, each year province-wide, six people are killed in wildlife-vehicle collisions and more than 300 people are injured. Highways also create a major barrier to the wide-ranging movements that connect individual animals with diverse habitats and mates.

How we will accomplish this

We are advocating for a highway crossing structure with the Alberta Government. There is an opportunity for a long-term plan for highway-wildlife mitigation in the Bow Valley east of Banff National Park at Bow Valley Gap. This spot, about 5 km east of Lac Des Arcs and 15 km from Canmore, is an ideal location to construct an innovative, cost-effective, and efficiently-built “hyper-vault” highway overpass.

What Y2Y is doing

“We know that these crossings work. Research shows mitigation infrastructure in Banff National Park has reduced the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 95 percent. At a project cost of about $7-million, a highway overpass with associated fencing can bring a monetary return on investment in less than 10 years, to say nothing of the saved lives of people and wildlife.”

— Stephen Legault, Y2Y Crown, Alberta and NWT Program Director

Latest update

Now is the time to urge the Government of Alberta to invest in green infrastructure in the 2018 budget. Please send a letter to Premier Rachel Notley, Finance Minister Joe Ceci, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen, and Banff-Canmore MLA Cam Westhead today.

Here are three ways you can help

Take action to get an overpass built east of Canmore. Let decision makers know you want to see this overpass built.

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Support connecting and protecting habitat so that people and wildlife can thrive.

Provide a gift to protect our wild spaces and places

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Latest news:

Alberta moves ahead on proposed animal overpass on Highway 1 near Canmore

— Posted on Feb 07, 2018 10:09 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Alberta moves ahead on proposed animal overpass on Highway 1 near Canmore

The province of Alberta appears to be moving ahead with plans to build a new wildlife overpass along the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Canmore.

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Y2Y launches campaign to petition for new wildlife overpass near Lac Des Arcs

— Posted on Feb 07, 2018 10:05 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Y2Y launches campaign to petition for new wildlife overpass near Lac Des Arcs

A petition, drafted by Y2Y, is circulating to improve the safe travel of animals in the Bow Valley by asking lawmakers to support the construction of a new overpass near Lac Des Arcs.

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Alberta hopes to build new wildlife overpass to fix highway 'death trap'

— Posted on Feb 04, 2018 07:13 PM in: Y2Y in the News
Alberta hopes to build new wildlife overpass to fix highway 'death trap'

Alberta Transportation is looking at a new overpass to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions on the busy Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Canmore. | Canadian Press, Feb. 4, 2018

Read More ›