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Colo. wildlife crossing design selected

A preview of the design from winning team: HNTB with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates (New York). Download the full submission for more details.
A preview of the design from winning team: HNTB with Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates (New York). Download the full submission for more details.

DENVER, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A New York firm's design for a wildlife crossing over Interstate 70 near Vail, Colo., has been chosen from an international field of 36 entries, officials said.

A panel of architects and engineers picked the winning design in the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition aimed at preventing collisions between cars and wildlife wandering onto I-70, The Denver Post reported Monday.

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The design by HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates features a broad overpass covered in trees, grasses and shrubs to blend in with the natural habitat on either side of the interstate.

Bear, bobcat, coyote, deer, elk, big-horn sheep and lynx are among the species involved in vehicle-animal collisions on Colorado roads, the state Department of Transportation says.

The winning design was one of five finalists with estimated construction costs ranging from $7 million to $12 million, westword.com reported.

Though approved, the design is unlikely to be built anytime soon, authorities say. The Colorado Department of Transportation says it does not have the money, the Post reported.

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