The first wildlife overpass outside of Banff National Park is now under construction on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Bow River valley and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2023.
It is located east of Canmore near Lac Des Arcs to reduce the risk of vehicle-wildlife collision.
Besides the overpass, the $17.5 million project includes 12 kilometres of wildlife fencing along the highway to help guide wildlife toward safe crossing points.
“The proper coexistence of humans and wildlife is integral to life in the Bow Valley," states Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin in a written statement. "This overpass, the first of its kind outside a national park in Alberta, will help keep all visitors, commuters, and wildlife that travel the Trans-Canada Highway safe on their journey.”
Wesley First Nation Chief Clifford Poucette states the project will bring forth new economic relationships that centre their values and strengths as Stoney Nakoda people and they're excited to continue working together with the province.
MD of Bighorn Reeve Lisa Rosvold appreciates how Alberta Transportation has heard the concerns of wildlife experts, local environment groups, residents, and visitors of the Bow Valley.
"This wildlife overpass will provide vital infrastructure that further protects this environmentally-sensitive area, ensures a thriving and reconnected wildlife habitat, and increases vehicle safety for everyone on the Trans-Canada Highway.”
About 30,000 vehicles travel this stretch of the highway every day. There is an average of 69 vehicle-wildlife collisions annually on the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff National Park and Hwy. 40.