LARKSPUR, Colo. — Bears, elk, and other animals are already using the nearly-completed wildlife mitigation system along Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Denver, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The system, which is part of the I-25 Gap project, includes four new wildlife underpasses and one refurbished one. Fences along the highway guide the animals to the areas where they can safely make it under the interstate.
CDOT said work on the underpasses is substantially complete, and 87% of the deer fencing is installed – just in time to shepherd migrating wildlife under the interstate this fall.
CDOT and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are now in the process of installing 59 cameras throughout the system to help measure success. CDOT said their goal is to reduce animal-vehicle crashes by 90%.
“One of CDOT’s core values is safety, and we are thrilled to deliver on this value to all who use I-25 in the area,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said in a news release. “In Colorado, nearly 4,000 animal-vehicle crashes are reported annually, resulting in injuries and fatalities to people and costing an estimated $80 million. In the I-25 South Gap, it is estimated that one animal-vehicle crash occurs per day."
CDOT is planning a wildlife overpass for an area south of the Greenland Road interchange in Larkspur, but does not have funding to build that one yet.
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