The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 16 December 2019 01:00cat

Overpass for wildlife opens in Singapore

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Overpass for wildlife opens in Singapore Overpass for wildlife opens in Singapore TODAYonline

A bridge that will be exclusively used by wildlife as a passage above a highway opened in Singapore, on December 6, 2019.

The 140-meter long structure will connect two sides of a forest in the CCNR (Central Catchment Nature Reserve), the largest nature reserve in Singapore, that covers 28,8 km2. The forest was separated when the Mandai Lake Road was constructed about 60 years ago. 

The construction was operated by Mandai Park Holdings (MPH). "(This area) is quite rich in biodiversity, but it is sort of in fragmented patches because of Mandai Lake Road,” Ms. Chua Yen Kheng, assistant vice president of MPD, the development arm of MPH, stated.

The two ends of the bridge will be wider in order to guide the animals towards the forest. The road will be covered with fences to prevent animals from crossing it.

In general, the bridge's width ranges from 35-44 meters provided a total area of 3450 m2. The structure is covered with more than 31,000 plants including 1,000 native trees. A significant number of volunteers helped with the planting operation. "For the first time in 60 years, we will have a continuous canopy,” Dr. Lee Hui Mien, MPD’s vice president for sustainable solution, said.

Mike Barclay, MPH's group chief executive officer, pointed out that the bridge is just the first project that will benefit wildlife in the Mandai area. According to officials, there is a 10-year plan devoted to the rejuvenation of CCNR's protected areas. “These areas include 19 percent of the allocated development land and are designated spaces where no construction or extensive human activity are permitted. Outcomes of the regeneration efforts will include the creation of a variety of microhabitats, as well as achieving functional connectivity for animals,” MPH stated.

During the past decades, many animals were killed trying to cross the road. During the last year, a sambar deer, a leopard cat and a Sunda pangolin which is an endangered species died in road accidents.

The bridge will be monitored by 6 cameras to evaluate the behavior of wildlife. "The cameras will allow us to monitor the usage of the bridge and inform us should we need to improve on the design," Dr. Lee added.

The construction of the facility lasted about 2,5 years as it began in June 2017.

Sources: StraitstimesTodayonlineTNP


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