Highway Crossings for Wildlife

Focus Area

Wildlife & Ecosystems


Natural Resources




Over $750k


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

There is a great interest in safe wildlife crossings for a number of reasons: reduced auto/animal collisions that cause economic loss, and physical harm or death to humans and animals. There are great benefits to connecting ecosystems. Current construction methods are expensive and problematic spanning great distances of 4 or more lanes of highway. My patented Space Frame Assembly can reduce weight, costs, and speed up construction of wildlife crossings. Finite Element Analysis and my prototype tests prove this design works. All the components are “off the shelf”. The initial tasks are: selecting a problem site, establishing a design, and then engineering a structure that fits the site requirements. The actual construction is relatively fast and easy. Originally designed as a floor or roof panel system, this space truss or space frame design is easily expanded into large spanning bridges with tremendous load capabilities. There are dozens if not hundreds of potential uses for this design. The Google link to the patent, rather than navigating the USPTO website: https://www.google.com/patents/US8635831 Click on the images and they expand. The simple core component, shown in Fig.1, combined with 3 others forms a pyramid. The patent was granted for the design’s simple non-tight fitting union above the apex of the pyramid. Size, frame, internal/external components, materials, ETC, are dictated by use and engineering.

Urgency and Payoff

In Wyoming, where I live, it is estimated there is an annual loss of over $50 Million due to wildlife collisions with 3 human fatalities. There is no doubt the national cost of these collisions exceed a Billion dollars with hundreds of lives lost, and tens of thousands of animals killed. Finding and incorporating lower cost solutions is being sought by every state’s highway department.

Suggested By

Paul M. Rivers Contractor/Inventor 307 690 4689

[email protected]