human-centric problems, and yet we run the risk of being shortsighted about the interconnectedness of humans and wild animals. Project Manager and Clark Dietz Civil Engineer Katherine Kreien- kamp, PE says, “Many times, I think that people can become hyper focused on ‘How does this affect me?’. By teaching about crossings, we can introduce effects on the environment and the ecosystem in a project area. This also helps people to realize that choices made in a project are not made only to benefit one party, but a system as a whole.” Safer infrastructure is a byproduct of conservation-focused engineer- ing design. While many municipalities Clark Dietz serves in Indiana are incorporating wildlife crossings as a requirement of the permitting process on new projects, they are recognizing the ancillary benefits. “While the design detail helps to protect wildlife, the safe passage of animals under a bridge or structure also means that less wildlife will try to cross a corridor with vehicular traffic. As a result, there are less potential roadway obstructions and drivers will experience safer pas - sage,” says Sandra Bowman, Manager, Ecology and Waterway Permit - ting Office of the Indiana Department of Transportation. Brian Powers, PE, CFM, ENV SP, who spearheaded Clark Dietz’s wildlife crossing design as approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources encourages a more symbiotic relationship with the environment. “I love wildlife focused designs. In my opinion, humans can’t occupy every square inch of this planet; we need to set aside space for the other species as well. I find it incredibly satisfying to know that we’re doing our part to improve both design and education as it relates to road ecology.” With unprecedented levels of public support, we are on the precipice of a major shift in conservation and safety led by engineering-based solutions. Wildlife crossings both large and small have the opportunity to transform our nation's vast infrastructure network. “I feel optimistic about benefits that come from implementation of design features that take conservation strategies into account. Because the construction of infrastructure can be a disruptor to an environment, finding a way to mitigate the impact to surrounding wildlife is always a net positive,” says Kreienkamp. KEVIN HETRICK, PE is Clark Dietz’s Central Indiana Area Manager and serves as Project Executive for Transportation projects State-wide. At Clark Dietz, he has been involved with roadway, path, and bridge design and construction, as well as small structure inspections. He previously worked for 14 years at INDOT, first as a Project Engineer in Greenfield District Construction, then in the Central Office Project Management section. CLARK DIETZ, INC. a multi-disciplined infrastructure engineering firm operating from offices in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Our primary areas of service include civil and environmental infrastructure, transportation, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Clark Dietz’s mission is engineering quality of life that provides a positive impact on people, the natural environ- ment, and the economic well-being of communities. www.clarkdietz.com
Photo: Clark Dietz, Inc.
from the tiniest insect to the largest mammal. Every creature plays a distinct role, and we need every single species. Secondly, thinking out - side the box is a great way to come up with viable solutions to problems. Thirdly, putting our hearts and our minds together, we can solve prob- lems. Everyone can contribute. Everyone can make a difference. KH: Do you think there is an opportunity to use wildlife crossings as a STEM learning opportunity? We hope to inspire future generations of engineering professionals. KD: I’ve connected with many teachers and librarians since Crossings came out and I’ve been honored and thrilled to see how they are using my book in their classrooms. Many educators have shared with me how they’ve had their students design and build their own crossings in the classrooms using cardboard tubes, blocks, Legos, magnet tiles, etc. Once their creation is complete, many have used plastic animals to demonstrate how their inventions work. So many wonderful, imaginative solutions! I also wanted to highlight the creators of the crossings—the “animal lovers” like the scientists who study where the crossings will be most effective, the architects and engineers who draw up the actual structures, the construction workers who complete the on-site building of the struc- tures, and others who are instrumental in making these crossings happen. KH: Projects like Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing can be quite expensive, but we’ve shown that local municipalities can support crossings within limited budgets. How can both large and small-scale projects be used to further public education? KD: I think larger projects that get a lot of press can be a great way to raise awareness for crossings in general. They may prompt the public and other governmental bodies to look at ways to protect the animals in their areas—even if it is not on such a grand scale. It comes down to doing what we can to raise awareness across the board; look to see where the problems arise and figure out ways to remedy them. Quality Of Life Extends to All Living Things As infrastructure engineers, we are trained to design solutions to
November 2022 csengineermag.com
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