UPDATE March 7, 2017
When we pilot a new project like this, we do so with the intent to test, learn and with understanding that there may be some bumps along the way. Those “bumps” help us smooth out any challenges the project might have before it becomes a permanent or large scale installation.
We’ve recently had one of those bumps in our Wildlife Detection System pilot project near Elko. Radars along this particular corridor depend on their antenna spinning at a critical speed to detect roadside wildlife. One of those radars has a seized bearing which is preventing the antenna from spinning as it should. This radar has been sent for repair, which will take approximately 3-4 weeks. We hope to get more details on the cause of the issue through the repair process and are exploring the purchase of a backup unit to help reduce any future issues. In the meantime, travellers will notice the unit continues to flash a warning of the potential for wildlife in the area and advising motorists to slow down.
We’re trying something new to reduce deer and elk collisions where they happen most – Highway 3 between Cranbrook and the Alberta border.
Two high-tech wildlife detection systems are installed at two locations:
Site 1: approximately 1 km east of Elko
Site 2: approximately 2 km east of Sparwood
Ministry staff is now testing to ensure the systems, which include radar and thermal cameras, are working correctly before turning the systems on for travellers.
Once activated, sensors will trigger flashing warning signs when large animals approach the highway. Meanwhile, we’ll monitor these test sites to see if the detection systems reduce the number of wildlife collisions. If successful, we’ll consider installing more wildlife detection systems at wildlife hot spots around the province.
To help you picture how these systems will work, we’ve created an animated simulation. Take a look.