JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — A new wildlife crossing project is under construction along Interstate 70 west of Denver.
The I-70 Genesee wildlife crossing project is one of several projects coming in advance of a $700 million update to the Floyd Hill corridor.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said the wildlife crossing will consist of constructing a wildlife underpass going under I-70 between the exits for Lookout Mountain and Genesee.
Crews will also place wildlife fencing along both east and westbound I-70 that extends from the Genesee Exit to the Lookout Mountain Exit.
> Above video: Legislature passes bill to bring more wildlife crossings to Colorado
CDOT will construct two new I-70 bridges and then will excavate under the bridges to create the wildlife underpass. Once the underpass is complete, crews will install the wildlife fencing.
Construction began in November and is expected to be completed in spring of 2024. Littleton's Lawrence Construction is the prime contractor for this project.
CDOT said this area has the highest number of wildlife-vehicle collisions on the I-70 Mountain Corridor east of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel.
"The new underpass at I-70 Genesee is the first major wildlife crossing to be constructed along the I-70 Mountain Corridor, and it will allow wildlife to safely cross underneath the interstate at a location which has historically been a hotspot for wildlife related crashes," said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. "Reducing animal-vehicle conflicts and improving wildlife connectivity is a major element to the overall improvement of travel time reliability, safety, and mobility in the I-70 Floyd Hill project area."
"In our ongoing work to improve Colorado’s statewide infrastructure and further invest in our Colorado way of life, I am delighted to see wildlife crossings are a priority," said Colorado First Gentleman Marlon Reis. "These structures are proven to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 90%, ensuring safe passage for our wildlife across habitats that remain connected and accessible, and saving millions of dollars in medical and property damages for our motorists."
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