Located at Parley’s Canyon near the Salt Lake and Summit county line, the bridge will be used as a wildlife crossing, serving as a link to habitats for animals entering and leaving the Snyderville Basin and the Wasatch Back. It would be the first wildlife bridge of its kind in Utah.
“Our team is committed to designing and constructing a bridge that is celebrated for both its effectiveness in linking wildlife habitats and for achieving beauty through simplicity,” said Joshua Sletten, WSP project manager and senior supervising engineer. “We want to provide a bridge that is visually stunning and unlike any recent project in the state.”
Currently, WSP is working as prime designer with its client, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). There are three possible designs being considered for the bridge, which were delivered to the client for review in May. The bridge design options include an asymmetric two-span bridge, an open-spandrel steel arch bridge, or an anchored end span bridge.
The $5 million bridge will provide safe passage for elk, mule deer, mountain lions, moose and other wildlife, and will also help motorists traveling along the highway avoid accidents caused by wildlife crossing the highway.
“This corridor has had hundreds of animal-vehicle collisions over the past 10 years,” Sletten said. “Due to the terrain and width of I-80, the corridor is very challenging to provide a wildlife bridge. The corridor has been studied for nearly 10 years to identify how a crossing could be provided.”
Preliminary design work began in January, and is expected to be completed later this year. Construction will begin in the spring of 2018, targeting completion of the bridge in the fall of 2018.