ARC: International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition

Fall 2008 – Spring 2011

Co-sponsors: Woodcock Foundation, Western Transportation Institute, Edmonton Community Foundation, U.S. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Forest Service, Federal Lands Highway, Colorado Department of Transportation, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Western Environmental Law Center, Habitat and Highways Campaign, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, ZAS, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, American Society of Landscape Architects, Ryerson University, I-70 Coalition, and University of Toronto.

ARC engaged the best and most innovative international, interdisciplinary design teams – comprised of landscape architects, architects, engineers, ecologists, and other experts – to create the next generation of wildlife crossing structures for North America’s roadways. This competition sought specifically from its entries, innovation in feasible, buildable context-sensitive and compelling design solutions for safe, efficient, cost-effective, and ecologically responsive wildlife crossings. In doing so, the competition has raised international awareness of a need to better reconcile the construction and maintenance of road networks with wildlife movement.

The ARC competition short-listed five, world-class, interdisciplinary teams to develop concept designs for a wildlife crossing structure at Colorado’s West Vail Pass along I-70. The finalists’ designs can be seen here and in the ARC video.  Announced in Washington, DC at the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Conference on January 23rd, 2011, the ARC jury of internationally-respected professionals with expertise in design, ecology, and engineering selected the team led by HNTB with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates (New York) as the winner of the ARC International Design Competition. 

ARC’s four objectives are to:

  • Provide an avenue for international teams of design professionals to address new design challenges in the coalescent issues of road transportation safety, structural engineering, wildlife conservation and landscape ecology;
  • Explore creative new approaches, materials, and designs that address the fundamentals of transportation engineering and wildlife ecology;
  • Increase the number of potential solutions for cost effective, innovative crossing designs that can be replicated or modified for widespread use in other locations;
  • Engage design professionals and students in the interdisciplinary nature of road ecology with a real-time, in-situ application.