Bridge and culvert design primarily involves safely passing floods and debris while minimizing instability and maintenance requirements. However, innovative bridge and culvert designs also have the potential to reduce wildlife-vehicle conflicts (WVCs) by facilitating the safe passage of wildlife beneath roadways. An estimated 1-2 million crashes between motor vehicles and large animals occur annually in the U.S., causing approximately 200 human deaths, 26,000 injuries, and at least $8 billion in property damage and other costs (Pew 2021). Georgia is among the 20 states with the highest risk of WVCs (State Farm 2020). Current bridge and culvert design methods do not include guidance on incorporating elements that simultaneously reduce the likelihood of WVCs while improving hydraulic performance and climate resilience to achieve a higher level of public safety. Further, permitting of structures by environmental agencies is sometimes delayed by wildlife passage concerns. Thus, there is an opportunity to concurrently address these concerns while enhancing public safety and infrastructure resiliency.
- Funder: Georgia Department of Transportation
- Amount: $100,000
- PI: Brian Bledsoe