When a competition was held seeking ecologically sound infrastructure ideas for the Poelzone waterfront Amsterdam firm, Next Architects, proposed a 160-foot-long bridge that accommodates pedestrians and cyclists while providing a much-needed place for bats to roost. The bat bridge, as it’s colloquially called, arcs over the Vlotwatering river in the Dutch town of Monster.
Why bats? The 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats eat 10,000- to 20,000-pounds of insects a night. The payoff of a bat-friendly bridge can be measured in bug-tonnage.