Mandai Wildlife Bridge to help animals safely cross the road
Mandai Wildlife Bridge will connect both sides of Mandai Lake Road and allow animals to cross safely
The Singapore Zoo will soon feature a new overhead bridge linking two slivers of forest on either side of Mandai Lake Road.
But the 140m-long Mandai Wildlife Bridge will be catering only to animals to help them cross the road safely. It will be operational next month.
Work on the bridge started in June 2017, and it was officially unveiled by developer Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) yesterday.
The bridge is the latest in a slew of measures that MPH has put in place to reduce roadkill while works for a hub of five wildlife parks are under way.
The vegetation cover is also useful for animals such as the shrew-faced ground squirrel to move across the landscape, said Dr Lee Hui Mien, vice-president for sustainable solutions at Mandai Park Development (MPD).
Dr Lee also stressed that the design of the bridge is intended to emulate a natural forest and will include a diverse range and size of foliage to ensure that animals feel safe while crossing the bridge.
MPD assistant vice-president for sustainable solutions Chua Yen Kheng said that the bridge will facilitate ecological connectivity and diversity by ensuring that the two slivers of forest are connected.
Ms Chua said that the bridge is not being built in "direct response" to the roadkill incidents found in the Mandai area and that many countries also used wildlife bridges to improve connectivity.
This can help in the movement of animals and encourage diversified breeding and feeding, improving the genetic diversity of both plant and animal species.
In February last year, a leopard cat, Sambar deer and pregnant wild boar were found dead in the Mandai area.
The ends of the bridge have been made slightly wider so animals will be funnelled towards them.
Hoardings have been installed along both sides of Mandai Lake Road to prevent animals from getting to the road.
Dr Lee added that the bridge will also have six camera traps, to record the animals that make use of the bridge.
She said: "The cameras will allow us to monitor the usage of the bridge and inform us should we need to improve on the design."
She added that the data will also help with wildlife analysis and can contribute to academia and research.
While MPH has declined to comment on the cost of the bridge, Ms Chua said: "When there is a road cutting through a forest environment, there will be some impact. So if you want to improve connectivity in the area, this is definitely a worthwhile investment."