Washington breaks ground on its first animal overpass

in environment on (#BY9D)
story imageThis week will mark a first for Washington, as the state breaks ground in construction for their inaugural animal overpass. Interstate 90 in the Northwest cuts through the forests and mountains of the region, having long proved dangerous and fatal for wildlife. Now, the Department of Transportation will begin building a 150 foot-long structure freeway overpass designed specifically for all animals to endure safe passage, set to open in 2019.

While this is the first overpass, four underpasses are already open, and cameras have documented the transit of deer, coyotes, and otters, among others. It is presumed that all animals will look to the overpass, including black bears, cougars, and elk – though perhaps not at the same time. Two more overpasses are in the plans and perhaps more if there is enough money. Such structures have proven successful elsewhere, as more than 20,000 crossings a year from 30 species has been documented in Montana. Banff National Park in Canada has an extensive working of animal crossings, as seen above.

Re: Not really news... (Score: 1)

by pete@pipedot.org on 2015-06-22 14:39 (#C2Q7)

i voted it up in the pipe because it was something different, and it fit roughly in the environment category - and while maybe not technical, i figured it could start a discussion (point of this site), whether it be about the interesting design of the crossing (pretty low fence), or animal migration patterns; the latter being what interests me most.

where i am northeast, i don't ever see such structures; but ive heard of areas near me where the highways have trapped certain species in a relatively confined area, and the population is booming - sounds good, but not when its 50 coyotes backed against a neighborhood :)

Perhaps i'll consider the news factor more nexttime voting. appreciate the feedback.
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