In an ongoing effort to reduce the number of wildlife deaths due to collisions with moving vehicles, the Colorado Department of Transportation is making plans for the construction of new animal crossings.
Such crossings, according to statistics, have reduced collisions in the areas where they have been built by up to 86 percent.
CDOT officials are currently monitoring activity at existing animal crossings as part of a process that will result in additional crossing structure construction.
The crossings can take on a variety of shapes and sizes, depending upon the specific location need. Some are simple cement-framed underpasses beneath busy state routes, while others are corrugated metal tunnels.
Fencing on either side of a road or highway are also a part of the projects, serving to help funnel the animals into the crossings.
Another crossing variety is in the form of a bridge built over a road or highway and enhanced with natural landscaping to make the crossing more alluring for animals.
CDOT monitoring of those crossings have so far seen not only deer using them, but bears, coyotes, raccoons, and wolves, among other animals.
Depending upon their size, the cost to build a new animal crossing can be anywhere between $300,000 to $1 million.
There are currently around 30 such crossings of different dimensions and sizes in Colorado.
According to the publication City Lab more than 150,000 animals have been tracked using similar animal overpasses and underpasses during an eight-year period at the Banff National Park in Canada.
By Garry Boulard
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