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State Route 89 Wildlife Connectivity

Kanab, Utah

Wildlife Crossing


Horrocks Engineers




Spring 2013

Technical Description:

• 166 LF of 15'-7" x 10'-6" MULTI-PLATE®
• 102 LF of 18'-7" x 12' MULTI-PLATE®

In 2009, Contech Engineered Solutions began working with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) in the early design stages of three wildlife crossing structures under Highway 89, located east of Kanab, Utah. The project was initiated in order to prevent trophy mule deer from being hit by motorists while migrating south across the highway and into Arizona. Approximately 1,000 to 2,000 deer spend the winter in Northern Arizona and the summer in southern Utah forcing them to cross the highway along an 11 mile stretch about 25 miles east of Kanab. It’s been estimated that 100-105 vehicular-deer collisions occur each year in this area.

In May 2009, interest in obtaining funding and getting the project out to bid was evident as over 30 people attended a meeting to discuss the feasibility. Contech attended the meeting and presented different structure types and the economics of each, while also noting the vast experience with prior wildlife projects. There were representatives from multiple entities including UDOT, the Utah Division of Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, Kane County, Dixie National Forest as well as research biologists from Utah State University with all parties being actively involved and participating.

Three years later, with the project planning and funding completed, the construction phase of the project commenced. Contech supplied three MULTI-PLATE® pipe arch structures — 2 - 15’-7” x 10’-6” x 83’ and an 18’-7” x 12’ x 102’ — to tunnel the deer safely underneath the highway.

Although there were multiple structure types considered, UDOT ultimately decided to go with the steel pipe arches due to the savings over concrete and the fact that this option eliminated costly cast-in-place foundations. Contech’s experience with supplying several wildlife crossing structures in recent years proved extremely valuable to both UDOT and Horrocks Engineers. In addition, after the pieces were delivered to the site, a pre-construction meeting was held with Contech and Sunroc, the contractor, to help them understand standard assembly practices and expedite the installation.

”In the fast pace world of UDOT projects, it’s nice to have a reliable supplier like Contech that delivers on time and does what they say they will do,” stated Gary Talbot, Project Manager with Sunroc. “They were a great resource for us on this job and helped us finish ahead of schedule.”

To complete the project, 11 miles of 8’ high fences were installed on both sides of the highway in order to funnel the deer towards the underpass structure. The fences encourage the deer to utilize the safety of the MULTI-PLATE underpasses in lieu of crossing over the highway.

“This has been a great project to get completed,” added Monte Aldridge, PE, Preconstruction Engineer with UDOT. “We appreciate Contech’s continued interest and understand that their products provide economical solutions."

Technical Description:

• 166 LF of 15'-7" x 10'-6" MULTI-PLATE®
• 102 LF of 18'-7" x 12' MULTI-PLATE®

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