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New Bridge Benefits Bats

Friday, April 21, 2017

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You can’t say the new bridge being built in County Galway, Ireland, is for the birds. It is, in fact, entirely for the bats.

The bridge, built over a newly constructed roadway, is designed specifically to help bats—lesser horseshoe bats, a protected species that inhabits the area—cross safely, according to the Galway Independent.

Bat Bridge
DirectRoute

A new motorway in County Galway features a "bat bridge" to help protected bats safely cross along their established flight path.

The landscaping, shape and location of the “green bridge,” in Coole Green, are designed to help maintain an already-established flight path of the horseshoe bats, according to DirectRoute, the public-private partnership that’s building the new Gort-to-Tuam road over which the bat bridge stands.

According to DirectRoute, the bat bridge doubles as an “accommodation overbridge”—a bridge that will route traffic from an existing, smaller road over the new highway. Its design and construction, though, were optimized to help low-flying bats across the high-speed motorway.

Other Bat Bridges

It’s not the first bridge designed specifically for wildlife—in fact, it’s not the first bat bridge. In 2013, two bridges built for bats over a road in Germany sparked controversy when some citizens questioned the hundreds of thousands of dollars that funded them.

And a bridge opened in The Netherlands in 2015 is designed both for pedestrian and cycle traffic and to accommodate roosting bats. The Vlotwatering Bridge, in the town of Monster, has nooks and crannies that encourage bat occupancy, and is made to maintain an idea climate for the flying mammals.

Galway’s Gort-to-Tuam motorway, with the new bat bridge above, is set to open before year’s end. 

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Contractors; Environmental Protection; Infrastructure; Landscape architects

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