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Utah Overpass Is a Wild Success

Animals use it to cross Interstate 80
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2020 4:10 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2020 6:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Animals that might have ended up as roadkill in previous years have discovered a much safer way to cross Interstate 80 in Utah. The state's Division of Wildlife Resources has shared video of animals, including moose, bobcats, porcupines, and bears, using the Parleys Canyon Wildlife Overpass south of Salt Lake City, CNN reports. The $5 million project, which spans six lanes of traffic, is the first wildlife overpass in Utah. It was completed in December 2018, and the Utah Department of Transportation says animals became comfortable using it sooner than they had expected. The overpass is covered in gravel, boulders, and logs.

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"It's working!" the Division of Wildlife Resources said in a Facebook post. "As you can see, the 2nd year of this overpass has been successful at helping wildlife safely migrate over busy Interstate 80 and helping motorists be much safer as well." Before the overpass went up, dozens of large animals were killed on that stretch of highway every year. USA Today reports that similar projects have been successful in states including Colorado and Montana. The biggest wildlife overpass in the world is expected to open next year over the 101 Freeway in southern California. Wildlife advocates hope the 200-foot bridge over 10 lanes of traffic will allow mountain lions isolated in the Santa Monica Mountains to roam freely and find mates. (Read more wildlife stories.)

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