Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon:
RCD Completes Schematic Design and 3D Modeling of Wildlife Overpass
Illustrator: Raymond Garcia. Drone photo: EcoMalibu.
Wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains has a problem.
With freeways surrounding and bisecting the wild spaces, migration to and from the mountains becomes impossible or lethal when the attempt is made. Migration is necessary to maintain genetic diversity, without which populations move toward local extinction. But, a solution is on the horizon: a wildlife bridge over one of these barriers—the 101 Freeway.
The Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, with Executive Officer Clark Stevens as Architect, has completed the Schematic Design and 3D modeling of the Wildlife Overpass at Liberty Canyon. Working closely with Caltrans District 7 and based on design criteria provided by Project Partner organizations, our team provided design services for the first two phases of the project: The Caltrans Project Study Report (Concept Design), and the Programmatic Agreement and Environmental Document Report.
Funding for the RCD Architectural Services of those two phases was provided by Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) with RCD match contributions.
Additional Architectural and Landscape Design Development services were then provided by the RCD under contract with the Project Partner team and #SaveLACougars Campaign Leader National Wildlife Federation, and culminated with an aerial rendering and 3D printed model shown above (fabrication by Solid Terrain Modeling of Fillmore, CA).
Supplemental in-kind match funding was provided by the RCD itself on all phases of the design process to date.
In addition to designing the Wildlife Overpass, the RCD designed, wrote the grant for, and managed the Wildlife Conservation Board-funded Phase One Liberty Canyon Wildlife Underpass Improvements project, with significant match funding from LA County and in-kind long term management and maintenance services by MRCA.
The Final Design and Engineering Phase of the overpass has now begun at Caltrans, based on the RCD design. The RCDSMM will continue to provide support and design input during Caltrans Final Design, with an expanded team of engineers and consultants joining the Project Partner team to complete the design and construction documents. Project completion is scheduled for 2023
This is more than just a bridge, but an 8-acre habitat restoration project, 1 acre of which spans the 101 Freeway and Agoura Road.
RCD Executive Officer and Architect Clark Stevens was quoted by AP writer Christopher Weber in the New York Times saying: “Ideally the animals will never know they’re on a bridge. It’s landscape flowing over a freeway. It’s putting back a piece of the ecosystem that was lost.”
Check out the restoration happening around the Liberty Wildlife Crossing!
You probably know about the proposed Highway 101 overcrossing project (wildlife bridge) at Liberty Canyon. What you may not know is that the RCD, with funding from the CA Wildlife Conservation Board, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and others, is restoring habitat around the Liberty Canyon crossing in preparation for the wildlife bridge. The Woolsey Fire destroyed significant portions of the original restoration, but we are hard at work rebuilding what was lost. Watch this video to see how the restoration is going so far!