Wildlife and concrete co-exist at northeast Edmonton industrial park

An industrial park in northeast Edmonton officially opened a new bridge on Wednesday that includes an underpass for wildlife.

The bridge in the Aurum Energy Park is at Aurum Road and 17th Street NE.

“It goes over this 100-foot-deep ravine so it’s quite dramatic,” said Ken Mariash, founder of Focus Equities, the company that developed the industrial park.

The wildlife corridor underneath the bridge is about 18 metres tall and 30 metres across.

The corridor needed to be large so that animals in the area would consider it a natural passageway, Mariash told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of deer roaming around, bobcats, coyotes and rabbits,” Mariash said.

A large green space surrounds the new bridge, with wildlife underpass, at the Aurum Energy Park in northeast Edmonton. (Focus Equities)

There are also benefits to the people who work at the industrial park, which includes a mix of energy service companies, builders and trucking outfits.

Along with the new bridge a large green space has been developed which includes a walking path.

“It makes your day if you get to be in a beautiful kind of a setting,” Mariash said. “Even if somebody’s working in the industrial environment, [it] doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy nature and have it enhanced and exposed to them.

“You don’t have to put pavement everywhere.”

From a traffic perspective, the new bridge links businesses in the park directly to the Henday via Aurum Road, he said.

“It cuts back almost an hour of commute for 10,000 workers.”

For truckers it also means being able to avoid going over railway crossings in the area where they have to wait for trains to cross.

The cost of the bridge project was in the $30 to $40 million range, he said.

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